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Terrorists no longer threatening to kill train passengers – Negotiator



Some families of passengers kidnapped from the bombed Abuja-Kaduna train. Photos: Olatunji Obasa

Terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train on March 28, have rescinded their threat of killing the abducted passengers in their custody over the failure of the Federal Government to meet their demands within seven days.

The PUNCH had reported that the bandits had threatened to commence the killing of the abducted passengers should the government fail to meet thir demands.

Parts of the demands were the unconditional release of their detained children held in an orphanage in Adamawa State under the strict supervision of the Nigerian Army, as well as the release of their detained comrades-in-arms.

However, on Sunday, the publisher of a Kaduna-based newspaper, Desert Herald, Tukur Mamu, said the terrorists have given the Federal Government two weeks effective from May 30, to release their children in the orphanage in Adamawa State.

The newspaper quoted Mamu, who is also the spokesman of Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, saying that he succeeded in reaching a truce with the bandits, adding that the location of the eight children wanted by the terrorists in exchange for the train passengers had been established with the help of security agencies.

He stated that the bandits shifted grounds and promised to continue to feed the captives well and attend to their medical needs after photographs of the eight children of the terrorists were sent to them as a ‘proof of life.’

Mamu then appealed to the Federal Government to hasten the release of their children.

He said, “I can authoritatively confirm that the earlier threats to stop feeding the over 60 abducted passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna bound train and start executing the victims were successfully withdrawn on Saturday afternoon.

“This was as a result of ongoing engagement with the ‘Abu Barra’ led abductors. This is a good development for issues that have to do with the safety of the victims to ensure the continuation of engagement with the abductors and to build confidence. We will not elaborate on this latest development which comes less than 48 hours after the release of another threatening video of the kidnapped victims.

“We were able to identify the location of their eight children through the active support of security agencies and eventually sent a proof of life and their children existence to the terrorists, a development that has helped to restore confidence.

“As a result of serious and frank engagement, they have agreed to continue to take care of their victims, including providing them with medical first aid services which they said they have been doing.

“They have withdrawn earlier threats to start killing them by Monday. I believe this is a major milestone that was facilitated by Almighty Allah to grant succour, not only to the innocent victims but to their loved ones as well.”

Mamu urged the government to do the needful as soon as possible because of the serious health challenges currently encountered by the victims.

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