Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has appealed to bandits wreaking havoc in the North-West and North-Central states to release all victims in their custody.
According to Gumi’s media aide, Malam Salisu Hassan, the Sheikh on Tuesday stated this during his Ramadan Tafsir sermon at the Sultan Bello mosque in Kaduna State.
Hassan told SaharaReporters on Thursday that he did not know why despite the Sheikh’s appeal, the bandits still continued to strike and abduct more victims.
“Honestly, I don’t know. But Sheikh is aware. In his sermons, he always appeals to them to stop this kind of barbaric action that they are doing. About two days ago, he personally called on them to please release all those who were in their possession. He stated this at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna State, where he made his Ramadan Tafsir,” Hassan said.
But on Wednesday, the bandits rather than releasing the captives with them, attacked a private university, Greenfield University at Kasarami, off the Kaduna-Abuja Road in the Chikun Local Government Area (LGA).
A staff member of the university, Paul Ude Okafor, was confirmed to have been killed by the bandits, while a number of students were kidnapped.
On same Wednesday, bandits also attacked Zazzaga community in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.
One civilian identified as Jacob Auta was killed as bandits also overran a military base in the community.
Reports said a military vehicle was stolen during the attack which took place around 4pm on Wednesday.
Eyewitnesses said the gunmen came riding on motorcycles as they stormed the area, shooting sporadically at the camp. The camp was razed and some military vehicles were also burnt during the attack.
Although the soldiers were able to repel the attack, their properties were burnt by the bandits.
Two weeks ago also, bandits killed five soldiers, personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and a civilian in an attack on a military base located at Bassa community in the Shiroro LGA of the state.
Ten persons were kidnapped with seven motorcycles stolen and military vehicles burnt down in the attack carried out some weeks ago in communities including Allawa, Manta, Gurmana, Bassa and Kokki all in Shiroro council.
SaharaReporters had last week reported that more than 200 communities in the Shiroro LGA say they are now under the control of bandits as the criminals walk freely in their localities.
The residents decried the absence of police operatives or personnel of the Nigerian Army, the air force and other security arms which should protect them.