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FG secures release of 23 remaining Kaduna train attack victims

By Joke Falaju (Abuja) and AbdulGaniyu Alabi (Kaduna)
06 October 2022   |   4:06 am
The Federal Government has secured release of the 23 remaining captives of Kaduna train attack.

The Federal Government has secured release of the 23 remaining captives of Kaduna train attack.

Secretary of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), Prof. Usman Yusuf, who made the disclosure, yesterday, in a statement, said: “I am pleased to announce to the nation and the world that at 1600hrs. (4:00pm) today, Wednesday, 05-10-2022, the seven-man presidential committee assembled by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the kidnapped victims of the Ill-fated train.”

The document reads: “The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian military under the leadership of the CDS, who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish. All sister security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this operation.

“The unwavering support of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, is what made it all possible.”

The victims were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists during an attack on a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.

The hoodlums, who attacked the AK9 Train in Kaduna, had before now released hostages in piecemeal, with the last release being on August 19, 2022.

The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack had attracted international and national outrage.

Distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.

Worried about the situation, the Nigeria Railway Corporation temporarily suspended activities, with President Buhari directing security agencies to rescue the victims after he met their families.

Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, had said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line would not resume until all the captives are rescued and reunited with their families.

A terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6 arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and returned to Nigeria the next day.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had alleged that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.

Popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest.

Gumi had asked the security agency to charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, rather than keeping him in custody.

But the secret police, in its reaction, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said, have remained ‘mindboggling.’