Terrorists who abducted the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers on March 28 have released yet another video where the victims begged the Kaduna State, the federal government, human rights groups and the international community to come to their rescue. Six passengers, including a Pakistani, were seen in the footage.
The terrorists, who accused the government of being insincere, gave a five-day ultimatum for the release of their children they claimed were in the custody of the federal government.
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It would be recalled that the terrorists had reached out to a Kaduna-based publisher, Tukur Mamu, demanding the release of their children held at an orphanage home in Yola, Adamawa State capital before they would negotiate with the government on the release of the remaining 62 captives.
In a two and half minute video seen by Daily Trust, a terrorist seen wielding a gun said, “We are going to give them the opportunity to talk to the world.”
One of the victims who spoke gave his name as Abu Zair Mohammed Tafseen.
He said, “I’m working here in Nigeria, but a foreign national – a Pakistani. We were abducted from the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28. We are here; 62 in number.
“The conditions are not very good. I am appealing to the government of Nigeria; the government of Pakistan and the international community to help us,” he said. Another victim, Mohammed Dehu, also appealed to the government to accede to the demands of the abductors.
Meanwhile, families of the abducted passengers have asked the federal government to release the eight children of the terrorists in its possession so as to open up negotiation as demanded by the attackers.
Addressing the media during a peaceful protest held in Kaduna, the leaders of the victims’ families, Dr Abdulfatai Jimoh and Dr Ba’aba Muhammad, in a statement read at the venue said it was exactly 58 days that their loved ones had been held in captivity.
They begged President Muhammadu Buhari to facilitate the release of the terrorists’ children in exchange for abducted train passengers.
The statement said, “Article 7 of the Third Geneva Convention provides for the rights and protection of prisoners of war. In a similar manner, the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) also protects persons deprived of liberty as a result of armed conflicts before their eventual release.
“We are appealing to the abductors of our family members to show compassion to them as fellow Nigerians,” the statement read. One of the protesters, Professor Abdulaziz Attah said the families had been talking directly with the abductors and they claimed that they wanted their children before they could release their captives.
He urged the government to direct the security agencies to release the innocent children immediately.
Another protester, Rakiya Lawal Usman, said it was wrong for the government to detain the children, including a year-old.
Family members of the victims have made several appeals to the federal government to rescue their loved ones from captivity.
Last week, Special Assistant to President Muahammadu Buhari on Media, Garba Shehu, said negotiations were ongoing to ensure the release of the victims. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) had announced a resumption of activities on the Abuja-Kaduna corridor, but it was later suspended indefinitely.