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The Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, on Sunday, met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Mr Obasanjo’s media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, who confirmed the meeting to newsmen on Sunday, said Mr Gumi came to Abeokuta in the company of some other religious leaders in the country.

According to Me Akinyemi, the cleric arrived at the residence of the former president inside the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library at about 11.00 a.m.

He added that the duo immediately went into a closed-door meeting thereafter.

Mr Akinyemi said: “Yes, it is true. He (Gumi) is currently meeting with Baba alongside other religious leaders.”

Although the agenda of the meeting was not disclosed, sources said it might not be unconnected with the cleric’s effort towards finding a lasting solution to banditry in the Northwestern region of the country.

Others believe that Mr Gumi was in Abeokuta to beg Mr Obasanjo to advise Governor Nasir El-Rufai to soft-pedal on his resolve not to pay ransom to bandits to release kidnap victims in the state.

Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai has said he did not appoint anybody to negotiate with bandits on his or the government’s behalf.

This was made known in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Sunday.

According to him, anyone found negotiating on behalf of the government would be arrested and prosecuted.

The governor also debunked a report in the media suggesting that the government had appointed representatives to interface with the bandits on its behalf.

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