The 27 students of Government Science College, in Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State that were kidnapped within the school premises by gunmen suspected to be armed bandits in the early hours of Wednesday February 17, 2021, may have been released by their abductors late in the evening on Thursday February 18, 2021, to a foremost Islamic scholar based in Kaduna State, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and others after much persuasion by the Islamic cleric.
It gathered that the lucky secondary school students who had been held captive in the hideout of the bandits around Bangi forest in Mariga Local Government Area of the state for about 48 hours after their abduction from their dormitories within the school premises on the outskirts of Kagara township, headquarters of Rafi LGA, on Wednesday February 17, 2021 were said to have been taken to some undisclosed public health facilities for medical checkup in Minna, the state capital in order to ascertain their health status and treatment shortly after they were set free.
It was further learnt that the students gained their freedom after Sheikh Ahmad Gumi had met and dialogued with the leader of the bandits identified as Dogo Gide in conjunction with some of his members after what seems to be a long hours before the two parties could reach a truce.
It would be recalled that the foremost Islamic scholar had visited the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello at the Government House in Minna, some few hours after the incident had occurred on Wednesday and held a closed-door meeting with the Governor in his office, alongside members of his entourage.
Some close top government officials at the meeting informed our reporter that the meeting was with the view to employ dialogue in resolving the ugly incident with the leaders of the dreaded bandits and the need for him( Sheikh Gumi) to reach out to the bandits on the need to release all the kidnapped students, their teachers and others from the school unhurt.
Further checks revealed that after the meeting with Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, the Islamic Scholar left the Government House with his entourage for the forest in Bangi, Mariga Local Government Area of the State and met with the leaders of the notorious kidnappers/ bandits, led by one Dogo Gide, where Sheikh Gumi urged them to live fruitful lifestyles.