Bandits responsible for the Abuja-Kaduna train attack have released a video showing the abducted train passengers precisely two weeks after the attack, demanding ransom from the government.
So far, only the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Mr. Alwan Ali Hassan, who was among those kidnapped during the terrorists attack on the Abuja – Kaduna train attack has been released, with 166 still unaccounted for.
“I Am talking on behalf of the students, government should please come to our aid”, a female student of Kaduna State University said in the video, pleading with the government to kindly meet the demands of the terrorists.
Some of the victims’ families last week staged a peaceful protest at the Radio House in Abuja, with placards appealing to the federal government to do more in ensuring that they are released.
“They should try as much as possible to reach out to the perpetrators and rescue our loved ones. There are children there, pregnant women, the sick, the aged and only God knows what they are going through.
They have been in captivity for ten days, so you can only imagine what they are going through and how it is affecting g us.
“Whatever we do, we think of them. When we eat, we think of them. When we sleep, anything we do, we think of them. We are pleading with the government to please do the needful so that this situation will come to an end as soon as possible,” Aliyu Mahmud, a relative of the seven-month pregnant woman had said.
On his part, another protester, Aminu Uthman, said: “My immediate younger brother and his wife are amongst the victims. It is a nightmare and the most difficult ten days I have has in my life. I cannot sleep or eat. A lot of things are going wrong.
“The bandits called only once and they gave him the phone to speak to us. They are yet to make any request but they called and he is with them. We voted for this government because of insecurity. We had the trust that they would address insecurity. This protest is not for the family members alone; it is for Nigerians generally. This thing can happen to anybody.”
In a report, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the federal government, “would leave no stone unturned to ensure that those that were abducted are released.”
Muhammed, said work was ongoing; insisting that the government would not relent, “and we are not giving up at all,” to make sure that all those abducted are released alive.
However, he declined to comment on specific efforts being made by the government to ensure the release of those affected.
“I may not be in a position to tell you the level of progress being made, but what I can tell you is that I am fully in touch with the authorities and I know that a lot of work is going on,” he said.
When asked about what efforts were being made to ensure that the incident doesn’t repeat again, Muhammed said: “You know, when things like this happen, what you do is to ask yourself about efforts that had been made in the past to forestall this kind of thing, what effort are you making today to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. And if you followed my press conference, I have been able to draw out the various steps the federal government has taken to ensure better security platform, and all security agencies.
“The federal government would accelerate the procurement of the necessary surveillance and security equipment not just on the Abuja-Kaduna railway; but also the Warri-Itakpe as well as other railways.”
Responding to a question that a lot of Nigerians and the families of those still being held hostage by the terrorist feel the government was not doing enough to get them released, Mohammed said: “It is very unfortunate that Nigeria is in the current situation. But anybody who is familiar with terrorism would know that it is an unconventional war.
“Over the past one week, I have drawn out efforts being made by the federal government to ensure that militancy, cultism and others are curbed.
“But we are winning the war, we have the statistics and unlike the bandits, we cannot be announcing everyday our successes. We know from the thousands that are surrendering in the north-east that we are winning.
“I can assure you is that everything is being done to address this and the military is doing its best.”
The federal government has however, assured that it would do everything necessary to see to the release of those still being held hostage by the terrorists.