Metro

Train attack: Terrorists withdraw threat to kill 62 abducted passengers

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), has confirmed the safety of about 170 passengers that were on board the attacked AK9 Kaduna-bound train on March 28.

Terrorists, who attacked the AK9 Abuja-Kaduna train, killed nine passengers and kidnapped over 60 other passengers, have withdrawn the threat to start killing the remaining 62 passengers in captivity by Tuesday.

The terrorists, according to spokesman of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, Tukur Mamu, have given the Federal Government two-week ultimatum effective from May 30 to release their eight children in government custody.

The abductors of the train passengers last Tuesday threatened to start slaughtering the 62 passengers in custody if the Federal Government fails to release their children.

Mamu, a Kaduna-based publisher, who said he has succeeded in reaching a truce with the terrorists, said the location of the eight children the terrorists want in exchange for the train passengers, has been established with the help of security agencies.

Gumi’s spokesman said the terrorists shifted grounds and even promised to continue to feed the captives well and attend to their medical needs after photographs of the eight children of the terrorists was sent to them as a proof of life.

Mamu said security agencies located the eight children currently being held in Adamawa State.

He however called on the Federal Government to hasten the release of their children.

According to him: ”I can authoritatively confirm that the earlier threat to stop feeding the over 60 abducted passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna bound train and threat to start executing the victims was successfully withdrawn on Saturday afternoon.

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“This was as a result of ongoing engagement with the ‘Abu Barra’ led abductors. This is a good development, even though for issues that have to do with the safety of the victims, to ensure continuation of engagement with the abductors and to build confidence, we would not elaborate on this latest development which comes less than 48 hours after the release of another threatening video of the kidnapped victims.”

“We were able to identify the location of their 8 children with the active support of the security agencies and eventually sent a proof of life and their children existence to the terrorists, a development that has helped to restore confidence.”

To this end, he affirmed that a temporary truce that will enable government to facilitate action was indeed reached with the abductors.

He explained: “As a result of serious and frank engagement they have agreed to continue to take care of their victims including providing them with medical First Aid services which they said they have been doing.

“Also, they have withdrawn earlier threats to start killing them by Monday. I believe this is a major milestone that was facilitated by Almighty Allah to grant succour not only to the innocent victims but to their loved ones as well.”

”I can confirm to you that our security agencies are showing concern and willingness to secure their release in safety. What we earlier released has encouraged them to do more. Nigerians should continue to pray and stop politicising this sensitive imbroglio. We must recognize that lives of innocent citizens are involved.”

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“But it is important to frankly state that they were very much categorical during our conversation on the conditions of withdrawing their earlier threat. They said they will give government the benefit of two weeks effective from Monday 30th May, to see the commitment of releasing their teenage children before any talk that may lead to the release of some of their victims.”

“In the absence of any alternative, I urge the government to please do the needful as soon as possible as many of the victims have serious health challenges and you know we are in the rainy season.

“My decision to accept the mediation efforts is purely on humanitarian grounds and as part of the sacrifice and commitment of Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi to contribute to lasting peace and security across the North especially the North West.”

“In view of the encouraging development it remains to be seen how government will react to it to ensure the immediate release of the kidnapped victims that have now spent two months in captivity.”

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