Former DSS Director says, Sheikh Gumi met with bandits near a military post
Charles Nwoke, Abuja, Nigeria
Februar 22, 2021
Image provided by local sources, fair use. “Sheik Gumi visits bandits”
Dennis Amachree, a former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, says the residence where Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi, met with bandits in Niger State to dialogue on terms of release of the kidnapped schoolboys and teachers of Government Science College, Kangara, is quite close to a military camp.
However, he disclosed that the security agents were asked to lay down their weapons at a nearby military outpost before they were permitted to gain entry into the premises where about 700 bandits were camped.
The former DSS Boss stated this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program on Monday morning.
When quizzed on the reason behind Gumi’s ability to easily access bandits while security agents were finding it hard to do so, Amachree responded, “The security agencies are very much aware because if you remember, when Gumi went to see these bandits, remember there was a military post there and they asked everybody to drop their guns and even if they are policemen they should stay at the military post before they come to the camp where they are.
“That means the military themselves know that there are some people out there, 700 strong or 600 strong in there. So, it is not a matter of they don’t know. I think they know but you know, you just don’t jump into 700 fully armed people because the tactics have to be planned properly to handle things like that.”
When asked to explain why the security apparatuses didn’t engage the bandits in a gun battle to ensure the hostages are set free, Amachree said they might have been trying to avert collateral damage that the clash with the hooligans will result.
The former security intelligence gathering official revealed that the bandits could easily use the captives as a human shield.
“When you see bandits like that if their number is large, you will decide whether you want to get reinforcement to move in there. Then secondly, sometimes they have hostages with them and the hostages then become human shields for them.
“So, if you go in there, there will be a lot of collateral damage. So, these are the considerations. I am not currently in the theatre of what is happening there. So, I don’t know what the commanders of that area are doing but I can tell you they are not just sitting down,” he added.
He said the Nigerian Air Force aircraft that crashed on Sunday, killing seven officers and airmen on board might have been on a surveillance mission to pinpoint the exact location of the hostages.
However, Amachree faulted governors for exchanging dialogue with criminals.
The Ex-DSS authority said rather than pay ransom to bandits, governors should use the money to fund security agencies so that they would be adequately equipped to confront criminals and fight against crime.