Defence & Security

Terrorists free seven train attack victims days after Kuje onslaught

By Paul Michael

A few days after the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) successfully attacked Kuje Medium Security Custodial centre in an operation that lasted over two hours without early attempt to foil the onslaught by the country’s security agencies, seven victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train killings have been freed.

Tukur Mamu, publisher of Desert Herald newspaper, confirmed the release of the abducted passengers at the weekend, stressing that the son of Ango Abdullahi, chairman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), is among the seven freed victims.

On March 28, a passenger train heading to Kaduna from Abuja was attacked by terrorists with several persons killed, dozens injured and many abducted. In June, eleven of the abducted passengers were released by the abductors.

According to Mamu, the newly-freed passengers include Muhammad Paki, Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule, Sadiq Ango Abdullahi, Aliyu Usman and Muhammad Abuzar Afzal, a Pakistani.

“I want to assure the nation that everything that was achieved today was singlehandedly initiated and arranged by me with the full support and prayers of my principal, Sheikh [Ahmad] Gumi.

“That is why I keep emphasising that government has the power to end the agony of these innocent victims in one day. This is just one individual that sacrifice his life and even integrity.

“There is no military solution to the current security debacle in Nigeria. When you sincerely engage them, these guys even though wicked with misguided religious beliefs, they are listening.

“I have sufficient evidence to prove that they do listen. It is this power of engagement and sincerity that resulted to the release of [these] seven victims,” he said.

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The coordinator of the families of the abducted passengers, Abdulfatai Jimoh, confirmed the release of the seven victims to news men.

“Yes, it is true seven people were released today [Saturday]. I just spoke with the family of one of those released,” Jimoh said.

The development comes four days after insurgents attacked and freed close to a thousand inmates including 69 terrorists at the Kuje correctional facility in Abuja.

Reacting to the development, a source within the military who spoke to The Trumpet on the condition of anonymity said the government was not sincere on the Kuje attack.

“Every sane mind can easily detect what has happened. The terrorists that kidnapped the Kaduna train passengers had earlier demanded that their leaders in government’s custody be freed as a condition to release those abducted.

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“The government obviously yielded to that demand but made it looked like an attack on the prison to evade condemnation. Releasing these seven victims, which is a welcome development, is the terrorists way of keeping their bargain. The government finally achieved its aim. I think more victims would be freed in the coming days,” the source said.

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