…says no ransom was paid to secure release of Kaduna school children

The Federal Government through its security agencies has invited controversial Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi for questioning.

Gumi was invited for questioning over his comments on the activities of bandits in the country.

The minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stated this while addressing journalists at the State House, Abuja, on Monday.

In recent years, Gumi has gained prominence for his comments on the activities of bandits.

He has been pictured with some bandits on many occasions.

The cleric reportedly offered to dialogue with bandits who abducted students from the Government Secondary and LEA Primary schools, in the Kuriga community under Chikun LGA in Kaduna.

The bandits attacked the community on March 7 and took away 137 schoolchildren and a teacher.

On Sunday, Uba Sani, the governor of Kaduna, announced the release of the school children.

The minister said the federal government did not pay ransom to secure the release of the Kuriga schoolchildren, adding there is a zero-tolerance policy towards negotiating with bandits.

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Gumi also accused the federal government of framing up its enemies by tagging them as terrorism financiers in his reaction to the identities of 15 entities released by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) for alleged terrorism.

Some groups have also called on security agencies to arrest Gumi over what they described as the cleric’s alleged ties with terrorist groups.

Speaking on the development, the information minister said the security agencies will do their work if they feel that the statements made by Gumi are “reckless”.

“The government will stop at nothing to get any kind of information that is required to solve our problems. The security agencies are up and doing,” Idris said.

“Sheik Gumi and any other individual are not above the law, if he has suggestions that are good enough and that are constructive enough for the security agencies to take, they will take

“But if they think that he is also making some statements that appear to be reckless, he will also be reprimanded.

“There is nobody above the law.

Let me put it here. And I’m aware that he has also been a guest of security agencies to answer questions.

“When you make remarks, especially those that border on our national security it is incumbent on our national security to think further, and they are doing just that, no one is above the law.”