Kaduna train attack: Double trouble as abductors threaten to kill hostages

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From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The trending video on social media in which attackers of Abuja-Kaduna bound train of March 28, 2022, threatened to kill all the hostages in their custody if the federal government refuses to meet their demands, has sent shivers into the hearts and minds of their relatives and sympathizers.

This comes as efforts are being made to raise money to pay the terrorists even if it is not the whole amount being asked for. This will be done by relatives acting as ransom-bearers and who are courageous enough to follow the abductors far into the forests.

When Saturday Sun contacted some of the embattled relatives, they avoided him like a leper. “Please save us the additional trouble. Do you want these guys to come after us? Whatever we say here can be misquoted by them and they may kill the people we are struggling to free.”

Though they refused to speak on record, they would, however, want the Federal Government to meet the demands of the terrorists in order to save the lives of their loved ones who have been in captivity for almost two weeks.

When the reporter spoke with other concerned individuals and organisations, they lent their voices to the call by the relatives of the hostages on the Federal Government to do everything within its power to get them freed.

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Spokesman of Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), Mr. Luka Binniyat told Saturday Sun, that, “government should come out in plain terms and explain its relationship with the outlaws.”

SOKAPU, he added, was of the belief that “powerful people in government are in bed with these bandits and terrorists. We believe that what has been said over the years that these cruel people were imported into the country in 2015 to make Nigeria ungovernable should then President Jonathan Goodluck continue in office is true.”

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He regretted that in Kaduna State, “human beings have become gold mines and our homes are now gold fields with bandits as the sole miners. If government or people in power are not the owners of the bandits, the solution is very simple: they should train the hundreds of thousands of idle young persons in all affected states, give them basic discipline, arm them and let them loose on the bandits and let’s see if they can last a week.”

Former Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr Anthony Sani, asked the bandits not to carry out their threat. He said: “The terrorists who go by the name kidnappers should not dare it. Those of them who threaten to kill all the abductees are those who are ignorant of the conversations going on now as to whether the Air Force should bomb all hideouts of the terrorists in all the forests or to tread softly to avoid collateral damages that will come by way of killing innocent people whom the terrorists use as human shields. So, the terrorists should not behave as if the government and the security agencies have no option. The government has other options of dealing with them but for the heavy collateral damage.”

In his own view, a Kaduna-based conflicts resolution manager, Mr Patrick Lawson, urged the President to enter re-negotiation with the bandits “because their statement that has gone viral on Facebook suggested that there was a discussion or agreement which appeared to have been breached by government. Whatever government can do to ensure total return of peace and peaceful coexistence in the country is what Nigerians are after now.”

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