President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the military and other security agencies to bring the abducted passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna home alive.
A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, announced Buhari’s directive yesterday in a statement titled ‘President Buhari Directs Urgency in Dealing with Kidnapped Railway Passengers’ Case.’
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The passengers were abducted when a train plying Abuja-Kaduna route was attacked by bandits on March 28.
Providing an update on Tuesday, Shehu said the government had continued to review the issue of the kidnapped railway passengers and making all efforts to trace and bring back the 51 or more still being held in custody.
Shehu said upon Buhari’s approval, the government had continued on the two-lane approach, kinetic and non-kinetic, to secure the passengers’ safe release.
He said Buhari’s clear directive was that the hostages must be brought home alive, stressing that the country’s military and security agencies were aware of their duty to the nation and were determined to give effect to Buhari’s charge with increased urgency.
He said: “The kidnappers made a demand for the release of their own children and upon the settlement of that issue, they let go eleven of the victims, even though more were expected.
“The setback notwithstanding, the government is not leaving any stone unturned in the efforts to bring all of the hostages back.
“The defence, security and intelligence agencies have given assurances to intensify operational engagements geared towards securing the rescue of all hostages and restoring peace to all parts of the country.”