Doubts over abducted train passengers’ rescue, new video surfaces

Security experts have expressed doubt over the ability of the government and the nation’s security operatives to rescue the abducted Kaduna-Abuja train passengers.

They expressed the doubt in separate interviews with The local media on Wednesday just as a fresh video of abductees appealing to the Federal Government to come to their rescue before they die in captivity surfaced.

The Kaduna-Abuja train was attacked on March 28, leading to the death of no fewer than eight persons while several others were kidnapped.

Their abductors, who asked the Federal Government to release some of their children in custody, as well as some of their commanders in exchange for the victims, had released several videos to press home their demands.

In a latest video released by the terrorists, eight of the abducted passengers were sighted.

Three of the victims, who spoke on behalf of others, appealed to the Federal Government and other well-meaning Nigerians to ensure they are safely reunited with their families.

A security expert, Timothy Avele, in an interview with The PUNCH expressed doubt over the ability of the government and the security operatives to rescue the victims.

He said the lives of the victims were at stake, urging the government to negotiate with the terrorists.

Avele said, “I doubt if the FG, through the security agencies, can rescue them now due to the delay. It is obvious that the terrorists want to offload the victims because the longer they are with them so is the possibility of rescuing them and arresting the terrorists.

“On the other hand, this delay could cause the terrorists to react negatively and do the worst. It is my humble opinion that the government should negotiate for the release of the victims. Lives are at stake.”

Another security expert, Jackson Ojo, wondered why the security agencies were yet to rescue them with the resources at their disposal.

He said, “I have said it several times that there is no political will to fight insecurity in Nigeria and by extension rescue this people.

“We have the technological know-how that we can use to track down these people. We also go there and spray the area with heavy psychoactive substance that all of them both the people they want to rescue and arrest will fall asleep.

“These are just few of the methods we can used to rescue them; there are several others that can’t be mentioned which are within the reach of the security agencies.”

Another security expert, Colonel Hassan Stan-Labo (retd.), stated that negotiation is the best way to get the victims out of captivity.

He added that any attempt to carry out military operation to rescue the captives might be disastrous.

Stan-Labo said, “Any attempt to rescue those abducted now will be highly devastating. The collateral damages will be very high. Do you think those guys (terrorists) are fools?

“Wherever they have kept the victims now is well fortified. I am not saying it is not possible to rescue them but at the end of the day, you may rescue four and the rest of them are all dead or sustain wounds from gunshots.

“It is too late for any serious rescue operation now. The best thing I can advise now is negotiation. When you don’t do your homework well, you are compelled to negotiate. Doing your homework means to know beforehand and stop it from happening.”

The spokesperson for the families of the kidnapped passengers in Abuja, Idayat Yusuf, told our correspondent that the families were meeting to decide on their next line of action.

“We have seen the video and we are meeting and strategising on what to do next. I will get back to you as soon as we are done with the meeting,” she said.

Efforts to reach the Director, Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, were not successful.

Calls made to his line were not answered while he has also yet to respond to a message sent to him.

In the fresh video, a victim, who identified herself as Mariam Abubakar, said four of her children and husband are in custody, adding that two of her children are sick.

She said, “I was one of those captured on that train with four of my children and my husband. We are appealing to the Federal Government, our families and everyone that can to please come to our aid. We have been here for 62 days in unfavourable and inhabitable conditions.

“We have been sick. In fact two of my sons are even sick at the moment with no medical supplies. So, we are pleading with you to please come to our aid.”

Another victim, Sodiq Abdullahi, said most of the victims were sick, asking the Federal Government to urgently come to their aid before they start dying.

A victim named Gladys called on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, to rescue them.

The woman, who said she was a classmate of the Vice President in the Law School, noted that she was worried because of her son who is a sickle cell patient.

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