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47 days after HURIWA tasks Buhari on freeing abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers

By Bertram Nwannekanma and Benjamin Alade
12 May 2022   |   3:46 am
Civil Rights Advocacy Group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on freeing the abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers.

Buhari

NASS seeks Chinese intervention 

Civil Rights Advocacy Group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on freeing the abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers.  

   
The group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it is inconceivable that there is a Federal Government in Nigeria, whereas Kaduna-Abuja train passengers are still in captivity ten weeks after their abduction.
     
According to HURIWA, it is a monumental show of incompetence and a demonstration that Nigeria does not have a solidly independent National Assembly that citizens are kidnapped by terrorists and for ten weeks, they are still not freed and the government is seen begging armed non state actors to release their hostages as if to say the government has reached its wits end.
   
The group stressed that if government which should control the maximum power of controlled violence and coercion is crippled, then the next best option is for them to throw in the towel so more competent persons can take charge.
  
It further demanded that the Federal Government should either free all hostages held by kidnappers and terrorists within 48 hours or the Senate commence impeachment of the President.
  
On the alternative, HURIWA demanded that President Muhammadu  Buhari dismissed his military chiefs to bring in competent officers to salvage the situation of extremely heightened insecurity caused by insider compromises and abuses within the strategic national security institutions.  
  
The rights group, who quoted the Managing Director of Nigeria Railways as affirming that the Abuja-Kaduna train service would resume soon with additional security measures put in place, described the action as irrational, insensitive, irresponsible,  despicable and reprehensible. 
  
It  also told President Muhammadu Buhari that his legacies would be tarnished forever should he fail to free the hostages timeously. 
    
The group said news reports say the bandits,  who refused to accept monetary ransom, had threatened to kill all the abducted passengers if the Federal Government refused to free their members in government custody, but the rights group said families of the few hostages already released paid hundreds of millions of Naira as ransom.
  
It said: “The primary constitutional duty of government as enshrined in Section 14(2) (b) is the protection of life and property of the citizens.
 
“ It is a global shame that government failed to free the victims to such a shameful extent that on April 27, 2022, one of the victims, a pregnant woman, reportedly gave birth through the help of a doctor provided by the bandits.

“Although the abducted train passengers are still in captivity, the Federal Government, through the Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, on May 06, 2022, told Nigerians that Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has completed the repairs of the Abuja-Kaduna rail track bombed by the bandits.”

MEANWHILE, the joint National Assembly Committee on Land Transport, yesterday, begged the Chinese Government to help in rescuing the abducted passengers.
 
Addressing journalists after an oversight visit to the Obafemi Awolowo Train Station in Ibadan, Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Abdulafatai Buhari, said  it’s embarrassing that 47 days after the abducted passengers are yet to be rescued.
  
He said: “Today makes it exactly 47 days that some Nigerians were abducted from the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train, yet nothing has been done to rescue them.
 
“Yesterday, some of the families of the abducted passengers met with the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and the accusation was that we the lawmakers are not doing anything about rescuing their relatives in captivity.

“What effort is the Chinese Government putting in place to assist  Nigerian Government in rescuing this people? The Chinese Government makes money from the rail projects that are being handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) in Nigeria, so asking them to help us is not out of place.

“Nigerians are no longer ready to listen to the number of passengers that have been carried by the trains since they were commissioned. Nigerians are not interested in what has been put in the various stations by CCECC. What we want to hear now is the effort being put into rescuing those people in captivity
 
“If a Chinese National was among those people abducted, we know that the Chinese Government would have come to rescue him.
“I remembered when an American was kidnapped, the Americans came and took him away from where he was held captive.”

“We know that with the level of technology that the Chinese have, even without leaving Beijing, they can help us track where these people are, or even give us enough intelligence that would aid their rescue.”
 
Asked if his call is a loss of confidence in Nigeria’s effort in rescuing them, Senator Buhari stated that Nigeria cannot be compared with China when it comes to technology deployment.

“This is not an issue about loss of confidence or not. We are talking about human lives in danger. It’s been 47 days, and these people are still in captivity. You cannot compare the technology at the disposal of the Chinese with Nigeria. Even if they won’t show us, let them help us from their base in Beijing,” Senator Buhari added.

 

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