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Questions Buhari should answer as train hostage ordeal ends, by HURIWA

By Terhemba Daka, Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Odita Sunday and Ernest Nzor, Abuja
07 October 2022   |   5:34 am
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to divulge details on the release of the 23 remaining kidnapped

During his one-day visit, President Muhammadu Buhari (right), at the Nigeria Defence Academy Hospital, meets with the 23 remaining March 28, 2022 Abuja-Kaduna train attack victims, following their release from terrorists, in Kaduna…yesterday.<br />

Kidnapped passengers freed by non-kinetic method, military explains
• President meets ex-abductees in Kaduna, hails security agencies’ bravery
• Christian Association of Nigeria commends govt

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to divulge details on the release of the 23 remaining kidnapped victims of the March 28, 2022, Abuja-Kaduna train attack.

The group said: “The regime of President Buhari must think that all Nigerians are fools. Where are the terrorists? Were they issued safe passage and allowed to go with their loot? Who is fooling whom?

“So, after closing this ‘shop’, shortly after allegedly catching the ‘cash-for-hostages negotiator’, where is Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, the defender of the hostage takers, after his man, Tukur Mamu, was taken into custody and millions of naira allegedly found in his apartment?

“When is Tukur Mamu going to court? Why is there no trace of the hostage takers who kept these hostages for over six months in thick forests? How did this ‘committee’ carry out what they now present as seamless ‘release’ or is it ‘rescue’?

“For this government, it is the more you look the more you see, but the less you understand!

“HURIWA demands clarity on the confusing circumstances surrounding this incident, including knowing if the kidnappers were granted safe passage.”

In a statement by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said it is shameful that over 60 train passengers were abducted, yet the government couldn’t neutralise or apprehend any of the terrorists who subjected the nation to over six months of pain and agony and killed several passengers during the attack.

BUT Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Musa Danmadami, yesterday, dropped hint on how the remaining abducted to train passengers were released.

While responding to questions from newsmen during the bi-weekly briefing on troops’ activities in operational theatres across the six geo-political zones, he said the breakthrough came through a non-kinetic approach.

“The most important thing is that that they have been released. Their release was secured by non-kinetic means,” he said.

BUHARI, yesterday, met with the freed passengers at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Hospital in Kaduna.

The President made the impromptu visit to see the victims, after commissioning Cadets of 69 Regular Course of the NDA, in Afaka, Kaduna State.

He thanked the Nigerian military for their brave services in securing the safe release of the hostages.

Members of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee, led by Maj.-Gen. Usman Abdulkadir (rtd), who facilitated the release of the train victims, were present at the hospital.

CHRISTIAN Association of Nigeria (CAN) commended Buhari for the safe release of the kidnapped passengers.

The association said the development signposts efforts of the Federal Government at combating insecurity.

In a statement, in Abuja, CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, said the successful release of the remaining hostages, in line with the President’s earlier directive, not only indicates that the authorities mean serious business but are also ready to muster the required political will to end the reign of terror in parts of the country.

Okoh commended the military and other security and intelligence agencies for the successful conduct of the operation, which led to the release.

He said: “We believe that with necessary support and adequate motivation, our security forces are capable of deploying world-class kinetic and non-kinetic processes towards accomplishing difficult military operations that will ensure the safety of life and property in the land.

“Therefore, the relief that came to the nation, arising from the closure of the six-month captivity of the innocent train passengers, must be sustained at all times.

“We must not allow a return to the days when terrorists had a free hand to do as they wished to unsuspecting travellers. Every Nigerian must be allowed to have peace, whether at home or in transit.”