On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) authorised the military forces to recover the remaining Abuja-Kaduna train passengers who had been held captive by terrorists since the March attack.
Buhari’s demand is stated in a statement headed ‘President Buhari directs haste in dealing with kidnapped railway passengers’ by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
According to the PUNCH, on March 28, 2022, terrorists attacked a Kaduna-bound train carrying at least 970 people. They killed nine people and kidnapped at least 62 others, including children and the elderly.
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On Saturday, June 11, 2022, five male and six female detainees were released after strenuous negotiations.
Shehu’s statement read, “President Buhari welcomes the return of the recently released passengers back to their families and loved ones, while expressing his solemn commitment to the families of those still in captivity, assuring that there will be no let-up until they are reunited with their families in the shortest time possible.
“As the government continues to review the issue of the kidnapped railway passengers and making all efforts to trace and bring back the 51 or more still being held in custody, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed increased efforts – kinetic and non-kinetic to bring the case to a closure
“Upon the President’s approval, the government is continuing on the two-lane approach, kinetic and non-kinetic to secure the passengers’ safe release.
“The kidnappers made a demand for the release of their own children and upon the settlement of that issue; they let go 11 of the victims, even though more were expected.”
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The setback notwithstanding, the government is not leaving any stone unturned in the efforts to bring all of the hostages back.”
He said the defence, security and intelligence agencies have given assurances to intensify operational engagements geared towards securing the rescue of all hostages and restoring peace to all parts of the country.
“Government is also mindful of the efforts of some patriotic and influential persons and institutions that are helping in securing the safe release of the hostages.
“The President’s clear directive on the issue is that the hostages must be brought home alive. The country’s military and security agencies are aware of their duty to the nation and are determined to give effect to the President’s charge with increased urgency,” the statement added.
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