Kaduna-Abuja Train Attack: Bandits threaten to kill abducted victims in 7 days
Terrorists who bombed, killed, and kidnapped passengers aboard the Abuja-Kaduna train on 28 March 2022 have threatened to start killing their captives within seven days if their demands are not met.
Malam Tukur Mamu and Dan Iyan Fika, the spokesman of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, spoke to the leader of the terrorists, Abu Barra, via phone.
During the telephone conversation, the terrorists requested that their children allegedly kept in a Yola detention facility in Adamawa State be released as a matter of urgency.
They claimed that the federal government suspended the resumption of the train service indefinitely because of their threats and said that if their conditions are not met, the resumption of the train service is to the detriment of the government and the passengers.
According to them, “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.”
In the audio conversation, they said that they have chosen him (Tukur Mamu) to convey the important message to the government, the families of the victims, and Nigerians in general because they believe he won’t alter their message and have seen him severally with Sheikh Gumi in the forest, therefore, they recognised the fearlessness in him.
The leader of the terrorists said that it’s been two months since the abduction and anything can happen to the abducted passengers henceforth.
The leader stated that their reason for the abduction is a retaliation for the arrest and detention of their children by the security agencies.
He explained that their children numbering about eight between the ages of one to seven are currently being held at an orphanage in Jimeta, Adamawa State under the supervision of the Nigerian Army.
He gave the names of their children as; Abdulrahman, Bilkisu, Usman, Ibrahim, and Juwairiyyah, stressing that they were forcefully taken from their wives in Nasarawa and taken to the orphanage in Yola.
For any continued discussion on the release of the passengers and a safe resumption of the train service, they said their children must be released unconditionally, only then will they release some of the abducted victims, especially the women while other passengers will be released on a prisoner exchange with some of their arrested comrades by the government.
According to Abu Barra, the pictures of the passengers they sent to Mamu, were among some of the pictures they sent to the negotiation team of the government as proof of the well-being of the victims, yet the government shows no seriousness.
Barra said that they decided to come to a GSM enabled location with one of the female victims to talk to Malam Mamu as a confirmation of their claims, adding that Mamu said he could hear her cries with a very low voice that probably indicates exhaustion pleading with him to please talk to the government on their behalf for a swift intervention on their release.
The terrorist leader threatened that within seven days if the government does not respond to their demands, they will stop feeding the victims and will start slaughtering them one after the other and if the government doesn’t respond after that, then Nigerians should forget about using the Abuja-Kaduna rail line as well as the Kaduna-Abuja high way.
Malam Tukur Mamu replied that he understands the predicament of the government in resolving the abduction issue and stated that every responsible government will look into saving the lives of innocent passengers and make painful compromises where necessary even if it’s against the policy of the administration.
According to him, “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 these innocent victims.”
He added, “For me, if these innocent Nigerians will regain their freedom because of my involvement and also bring relative peace and security on our highways and rail lines, I wouldn’t mind if I die in the process. We must accept the fact that security alone on the Abuja-Kaduna highway remains more fragile than ever and the solution is not militarily alone, especially in a country where impending attacks can hardly be dictated and stopped, Mamu said“.