No fewer than seven Abuja-Kaduna train victims have been freed after spending over 100 days in the captivity of terrorists.
Punch Metro recalls that eight people were dead and 26 others injured while scores of passengers went abducted after the deadly attack on the Abuja-Kaduna bound AK9 train on March 28 at Dutse forest in Chikun local council.
The fresh release was disclosed by Malam Tukur Mamu, one of the negotiators and Media Consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.
According to The PUNCH, Mamu said through his singular efforts, he successfully negotiated the release of “another seven victims.”
Mamu noted that despite his resolve to withdraw completely due to frustrations from government authorities, he had been under tremendous pressure from notable family members of the victims to reconsider his “stand in view of the respect and confidence the abductors have in his ability to sincerely engage in dialogue.”
The seven hostages set free by the terrorists on Saturday, according to him, are Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule and Sadiq Ango Abdullahi, Muhammad Daiyabu Paki, Aliyu Usman as well as only foreign national of Pakistani origin, Dr. Muhammad Abuzar Afzal.
Mamu, who is also the publisher of the Kaduna-based Desert Herald newspaper, said the release of the seven additional hostages had “vindicated Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi about what the power of mediation can achieve.”
He added that the seven released hostages had been handed over to the military and that they were on their way to Kaduna.
He said, “I want to assure the nation that everything that was achieved today was singlehandedly initiated and arranged by me with the full support and prayers of my principal, Sheikh Gumi.
“That is why I keep emphasising that government has the power to end the agony of these innocent victims in one day.
“This is just one individual that sacrifices his life and even integrity. There is no military solution to the current security debacle in Nigeria.
“When you sincerely engage these guys, even though wicked with misguided religious beliefs, they are listening.
“I have sufficient evidence to show that they do listen. It is this power of engagement and sincerity that resulted in the release of these seven victims.
“In whatever I do, I don’t need or require any reward from anybody but from Allah but I hope the nation we sacrificed our lives for will recognize us.”