Journalism of Courage

We will waste Abuja-Kaduna train abductees unless our demands are met, threaten terrorists

They threatened to start killing the abducted passengers within seven days, if the government failed to release their children allegedly kept in a Yola detention facility.

With the time ticking, restive terrorists who attacked and kidnapped passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train two months ago, have threatened to kill all the passengers if their demands are not met.

They threatened to start killing the abducted passengers within seven days, if the government failed to release their children allegedly kept in a Yola detention facility.

Persecondnews recalls that on March 28, 2022, the daredevils had launched a bloody offensive on the Abuja-Kaduna train with about 970 passengers onboard, shooting at the passengers as they kidnapped some of them.

The attack which occurred a few kilometres to Kaduna metropolis left about eight people dead, dozens injured and about 168 kidnapped.

The terrorists were reported to have detonated bombs on the track and immobilised it between Katari and Rijana en route to Kaduna.

The leader of the terrorists, Abu Barra, made the threat in a phone conversation with the spokesman of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, Malam Tukur Mamu.

In the audio of the conversations between Malam Tukur Mamu and the leader of the terrorists, the terrorists claimed the federal government suspended the resumption of the train service because of their threats.

According to them, the resumption of the train service is to the detriment of the government and the passengers if their conditions are not met.

He said: “We don’t need money. We have a good reason for doing what we did, until our demands are met none of the victims will come out alive even if it means we all die with them.

“They are well taken care of as you can see from the pictures we sent to you via WhatsApp but we assure you that this will not continue.

“We choose you; Tukur Mamu, to convey this important message to the government, the families of the victims and Nigerians in general because we believe you won’t alter our message and we have seen you severally with Sheikh Gumi in the forest, therefore, we recognized the fearlessness in you.”

He explained that the abduction was a retaliation for the arrests and detention of their children by the security agencies.

“Our children numbering about eight, between the ages of one to seven years are currently being held at an orphanage in Jimeta, Adamawa State under the supervision of the Nigerian Army.

“The names of our children are; Abdulrahman, Bilkisu, Usman, Ibrahim and Juwairiyyah. They were forcefully taken from our wives in Nasarawa and taken to the orphanage in Yola.

“For any continued discussion on the release of these passengers and a safe resumption of the train service, our children must be released unconditionally.

“Only then will we release some of the abducted victims, especially the women, while other passengers will be released on a prisoner exchange with some of our arrested comrades by the government,” he said.

Abu Barra further threatened that if within seven days the government did not respond to their demands, they will stop feeding the abducted passengers and start slaughtering them one after the other.

He also warned Nigerians to forget about using the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, as well as the Kaduna-Abuja high way.

“If the government decide not to respond so be it. We are warning Nigerians, especially those that are patronizing the train that if this matter is not resolved peacefully.

“The day they decided to attack us or do anything funny, passengers or commuters should forget about using the train or follow the Abuja-Kaduna road, because we will be consistent and they can’t stop us.”

In his response, Malam Tukur Mamu said he understood the predicament of the government in resolving the abduction problem, stating that every responsible government will look into saving innocent passengers’ lives and make painful compromises where necessary even if it is against the policy of the administration.

Mamu explained that prisoner exchange with known criminals on matters of national interest is a global practice and has happened in many developed countries like the United States.

He further stressed the need to avoid any military action that will lead to collateral damage and the loss of innocent lives.

“Time is not on our side, the government must understand that they are dealing with persons with a misguided ideology and tainted religious belief.

“These people are not scared of death, they seem to believe that they are martyrs when they die.

“It will be a serious mistake to take this threat lightly. I believe an opportunity has been created for us to explore to save the lives of those innocent victims,” he also said.

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