Defence & Security

Abuja-Kaduna train attack: FG met demands of terrorists – Presidency

By Paul Michael

The Federal Government has revealed that it complied with all the demands of the terrorists who abducted the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers, yet the terrorists failed to keep to the bargain.

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu disclosed this in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa aired on Friday.

Shehu, said the terrorists’ leader demanded the release of his wife, babies and seven other children who were in prison custody, which the government has done.

The presidential spokesperson said this while arguing that government is making effort to secure the release of victims amid allegations that the government is nonchalant about the abducted passengers who have been in captivity since March 28.

He explained that the leader of the attackers first demanded the release of his pregnant wife who was in jail, noting that the government took her to a hospital, where she gave birth to twins and all three were freed.

Shehu, however, expressed dissatisfaction that the terrorists’ leader still refused to free his victims but demanded the release of six or seven members’ children from prison.

“Anyone who says government is not doing anything about their release might be unaware of efforts government is making to rescue the abductees. The important thing is that the government, since the occurrence of the incident, has been working very hard.

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“Let me tell you, initially the gang leader demanded the release of his pregnant wife who was in jail, the federal government took the woman to the hospital where she gave birth to twins. He was shown that both his wife and children were in a good health condition and then they were handed over to his parents.

“After handing them over, they refused to free the victims but came up with a different issue, that there are about six or seven of their children in Yola, Adamawa. Not only did the government release them from jail, it sent a plane to fly them from Adamawa, where they were detained, and delivered them to the terrorists.

Abuja-Kaduna train attack: FG met demands of terrorists - Presidency

“We expected that if we gave them the children, they would release all the victims in their custody. Then, they demanded money. So, people should not say the government is doing nothing,” Shehu stated.

Recall that terrorists on March 28 2022 attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train, killed at least eight people and abducted over 60 persons. More than 20 abductees are still in captivity while several other have been released.

Tukur Mamu, the publisher of Kaduna-based Desert Herald and Media Consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi claimed to be the lead negotiator for the release of the victims, who allegedly hundreds of millions.

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