4 more Kaduna train attack victims regain freedom from terrorists
The new batch of four hostages were reportedly released on Friday.
The attack: It would be recalled that sections of AK-9 train was blown up by terrorists on Monday, March 28, 2022, leaving five passengers dead while over 60 others were kidnapped.
Hostage release: However, the kidnappers have since been releasing the hostages in batches with the latest set of arrivals consisting of an 85-year-old woman, Hajiya Halimatu Atta, her daughter, Adams Aliyu and two others who have been in captivity for four months, reported The Punch.
Confirming this development to newsmen in Kaduna was Tukur Mamu, Publisher of Kaduna-based Desert Herald and Media Consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.
SOS call: Mamu, who withdrew as one of the negotiators, claimed that one of the terrorists’ commanders was said to be in love with a 21-year-old captive, Arzurfa Lois John, and if urgent steps were not taken, she might be married out as was in the case of Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi schoolgirl.
He, however, gave the identities of those released as to include, Mama Halimatu Atta, her daughter, Adams, Mohammed Sani Abdulmaji (M.S Ustaz) as well as a Sokoto indigene, Alhaji Modin Modi Bodinga.
Mamu urged the Federal Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to act urgently to stop the terrorists' plan to marry off the 21-year-old girl.
He warned that CAN should not politicise or take the information with a pinch of salt, adding that relevant authorities should swing into action to secure the girl's release as soon as possible.
Mamu's words: “I can confirm that earlier on Friday, four additional victims of the train attack were released by their abductors. The four released victims just left my office.
“They said they came collectively to thank me for the past efforts I made to mediate on their behalf and for convincing their abductors to drop the threats of executing them and to plead for all stakeholders especially the federal government to intensify efforts as the condition of the remaining 23 victims they left at the forest is pathetic.
“Amongst those that were released on Friday includes the oldest victim, a grandmother, Mama Halimatu Atta. She is 90 years old. Also released is her daughter, a 53-year-old married woman, Adama Atta Aliyu, (the woman that was bravely shown in the last video protesting and challenging her captors and lamenting failure to secure their release). The victim that first suggested my name to the abductors, as one of those to be contacted to mediate between them and the federal government, Mohammed Sani Abdulmaji (M.S Ustaz) and a Sokoto indigene, Alhaji Modin Modi Bodinga were also released on Friday.
“This is to alert the federal government and especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that I can confirm through credible information at my disposal that if urgent action is not taken to immediately secure the release of the youngest victim of the train attack, a 21-year-old Azurfa Lois John, the abductors as they have done in the case of Leah Sharibu are planning to marry her any moment from now. One of the top commanders is said to be in love with her.
“This important information should be treated with the urgency it deserves. Even though I know that releasing this information will not only unsettle her immediate family and loved ones but Nigerians as a whole, it is necessary to do so to avoid a repeat of Leah Sharibu’s case.
“I advise CAN in particular not to politicise this issue or reduce it to mere press releases as I have seen in the past but to work closely with relevant authorities to engage the abductors on her case as soon as possible before it is late.
“I pray that in view of the uncertainties which are becoming alarming, the federal government will also act very fast to ensure the release of all the remaining victims.”
No words on ransom: Meanwhile, it remains unknown if ransom was paid for the release of the four hostages but the terrorists had demanded N100m per each victim before those earlier set free, were released.
This latest release of four captives means there are 23 more hostages in the custody of the terrorists.
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