We Paid N800,000 To Gumi’s Linkman To Free Our Children, Say Afaka Students’ Parents

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Sheikh Ahmad Gumi

* Boko Haram Holding Greenfield Varsity Students, Says Sheik Gumi

Gumi To FG: Get N100m From CBN Vaults To Pay Ransom

Parents of the kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna State have alleged that they paid N800,000 to a “Fulani Man” introduced to them by a link recommended by famous Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.

 The parents said they made the payment in their bid to secure the release of their wards, about 30 in number,  who were abducted over 55 days ago from their school premises on March 11, 2021.

 They made the disclosure through one of them who spoke with RootsTV in Abuja during their protest at the National Assembly on Wednesday.

 Sheikh Gumi has been meeting with “bandits” on a kidnapping spree in the North. He is currently on a self-imposed advocacy for a general amnesty to the “bandits” from the Federal Government.

 In the interview, which video has been trending on social media, one of the mothers of the kidnapped students, said: “We had been going for several committee meetings; we were taken to meet Sheikh Gumi for a meeting. We were directed to a man called Ahmed who invited a Fulani man whom they gave N800,000. The money, we were told, was just for transport.

“I cried, I told him I am a widow and I don’t have a husband, I am just training this boy to help me tomorrow. I begged him and he said it was none of his business. We tried begging and he said no, until we pay about N500 million.”

Another woman said the kidnappers had called her for about two weeks asking how much the parents were able to raise.

She said most of the parents were widows, petty traders, and poor, hence they could not raise the money and wanted the government to help out.

 She said, “We told them all we were trying to do was to get the government to assist us. Then he asked us if we were going to abandon our children if the government failed to pay.”

 Meanwhile, Sheik Gumi has said that the Central Bank of Nigeria should pay the N100m ransom being demanded by the kidnappers of Greenfield University, also in Kaduna.

Sheik Gumi stated this on Tuesday while appearing on the breakfast show, Kaaki, on Africa Independent Television (AIT), Abuja.

 The Islamic cleric also revealed that the abductors of the varsity students were not “bandits” but “Boko Haram” terrorists. This confirmed fears in the country that the Boko Haram insurgency has spread beyond the initial theatre of conflict, the North East, to encompass the North West and North Central

 Gumi said: “As for the forestry students, we have been trying to see whether we can get some of the herdsmen’s contact so that they can release these people.

“We have also been trying our best but you know we have limitations, there are lots of obstacles on the way but the parents have been really consulting with us.

“The issue of the Greenfield students is a little bit more complex. There are two groups of bandits. We have the ordinary Fulani ethnic herdsmen and the religious elements, terrorists. That is why we have been telling the government to support us so that we can go in and bring the children out.

“The issue is getting compounded because this element is coming in; Boko Haram is coming into the scene now. They are the ones that captured Greenfield students. It is not a question of sleeping. You have to act very fast.”

 The Islamic cleric continued: “The money they are asking for is too much; if I give you that money, you cannot run away with it. Nobody can run. So, why not give them the money, they release the boys and then we pursue them and get our money back and do what is necessary; it is simple logic.  So, bring the money from the central bank. How can they move that money? We should not be stupid.

 “These people are getting infiltrated. Boko Haram is getting close and they don’t respect the clergy. I need support to get them inoculated against the infiltration of these ideologies, whether Boko Haram or Ansaru, whatever it is. We need to shield them because they are naïve. If there is too much pressure on them, and they see help from Boko Haram, who are richer and have more weapons, it is going to consume everybody.”

 And, in a media interview on Tuesday, National President, Parents Teacher Association, Haruna Danjuma, urged the bandits to spare the lives of the students.

Also, National President, Foundation for The Protection of Women and Children, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, has appealed to the abductors for the sake of the Holy Month of Ramadan, not to kill any student.

The two groups made the appeal as one of the kidnapped students of the Greenfield University regained freedom.  The student was released at the weekend before the bandits made their fresh demands on Monday.

Lauretta Attahiru, mother of the released student, confirmed the development to newsmen.  

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