The abducted Kagara students numbering about 27 have been released by suspected bandits, after some negotiation with Sheikh Gumi at their hideout on Thursday.
The Kagara students who are from the Government Science College in Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State were kidnapped within the school premises by gunmen suspected to be armed bandits in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to reports, the 27 abducted Kagara students were released by their abductors late in the evening on Thursday to a foremost Islamic scholar based in Kaduna State, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and others after much persuasion by the Islamic cleric.
The abducted Kagara students who were 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 abductions from their dormitories within the school premises on the outskirts of Kagara township, headquarters of Rafi LGA, have all been identified.
They 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 seemed to be a long hours before the two parties could reach a truce.
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 said the meeting was with the view to employing dialogue in resolving the incident with the leaders of the dreaded bandits and the need for him (Sheikh Gumi) to reach out to the bandits to release all the kidnapped students, their teachers and others 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, and the release of the students.