Eleven out of the 61 persons kidnapped following the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack have regained their freedom.
The 11 victims were said to have been freed on health grounds in order to enable them undergo urgent medical treatment. They were thereafter flown to Abuja after their release.
Tukur Mamu, the self-acclaimed lead negotiator between the Federal Government and bandits, confirmed on Saturday that “as a result of series of robust engagements on the approval of the Federal Government with Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi’s, some victims of the Abuja-Kaduna bound kidnapped train victims have regained their freedom.”
“The abductors have initially vowed to stop feeding their victims and even threatened to start killing them if FG did not address their grievances,” Mamu, who is also the publisher of Desert Herald newspapers, said on Saturday evening.
He further confirmed that “contrary to their earlier commitment to release all the women in their custody a total number of 11 victims were released on Saturday, June 11, 2022.
“They include six females and five males that include Jessy John, Amina Ba’aba Mohammed (Gamba), Rashida Yusuf Busari, Hannah Ajewole and Amina Jibril. Others include Najib Mohammed Daiharu, Gaius Gambo, Hassan Aliyu, Peace A. Boy and Danjuma Sa’idu.
“We have succeeded in building confidence now, we will do everything to sustain it in the interest of the innocent victims that are still in captivity.
“It’s a painful and frustrating process but it must be done if we are to secure the precious lives of the remaining victims.
“The good news is our collective efforts have succeeded in securing the release of 11 of the victims so far. With the continued support of the FG all the remaining victims will be release soon Insha Allah.”
Continuing, Mamu said: “President Buhari must be commended for understanding the gravity of the crisis and for giving directives to the security agencies. The CDS, Gen. Irabor, has done excellently well under the circumstance. The Army and the DSS have played the crucial role. There is no military solution to this predicament.
“But behind the scene, Sheikh Gumi by Allah’s will made it possible. He was involved from the day I started. In fact, I accepted that role because of his directives to that effect. Even the final arrangement of how and the safest place to get the victims was arranged and coordinated by him.”
When asked by reporters whether the teenage children of the kidnappers were released in line with the abductors demand and whether money was involved, Mamu said: “I think it is the government that is supposed to respond to that question.
“We are only concerned stakeholders with the privilege to compliment government efforts but I can assure you and I can confirm that no money is involved. I believe the urgent priority now for the government and us is how to safely secure the release of the remaining victims.
“Even after that is done there should be security especially on the rail lines and that can only be achieved through mediation not the use of force because it is now very clear to everybody that our roads, our rail lines are vulnerable to attacks. Using the train especially for Abuja-Kaduna travels in view of the decaying condition of that road and its security implications remains the safest way to ensure and guarantee passengers safety.”
The attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train, which occurred on March 28 at Dutse forest in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, left eight people dead and 26 others injured while scores of passengers went missing.