President Muhammadu Buhari has directed increased kinetic and non-kinetic efforts to trace and bring back the 51 or more kidnapped railway passengers still being held in custody by terrorists.
This came as the families of the March 28 kidnapped victims of the Abuja-Kaduna bound train released by the abductors, have raised the alarm that the freed victims are mentally unstable, sick, traumatized and still hospitalized.
The negotiator for Abuja-Kaduna train attack victims, Mallam Tukur Mamu, recently, raised an alarm over the deteriorating health condition of the remaining victims in the kidnappers’ den.
Tukur Mamu, who is also the Publisher of the Kaduna-based Desert Herald Newspaper, feared that some of the victims, who are being subjected to horrible conditions, and were bitten by snakes, may not survive if the Federal Government did not act urgently to ensure their release.
However, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in a statement on Tuesday, explained that upon the President’s approval, the Government is continuing on the two-lane approach, kinetic and non-kinetic to secure the passengers’ safe release.
Recall that the kidnappers made a demand for the release of their own children and upon the settlement of that issue, they let go eleven of the victims, even though more were expected.
The setback notwithstanding, the statement further explained that the Government is not leaving any stone unturned in the efforts to bring all of the hostages back.
Meanwhile, the Defence, Security and Intelligence Agencies have given assurances to intensify operational engagements geared towards securing the rescue of all hostages and restoring peace to all parts of the country.
According to the statement, “Government is also mindful of efforts of some patriotic and influential persons and institutions that are helping in securing the safe release of the hostages.
“President Buhari welcomes the return of the recently released passengers back to their families and loved ones, while expressing his solemn commitment to the families of those still in captivity, assuring that there will be no let-up until they are reunited with their families in the shortest time possible.
“The President’s clear directive on the issue is that the hostages must be brought home alive. The country’s military and security agencies are aware of their duty to the nation and are determined to give effect to the President’s charge with increased urgency.