The terrorists that attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28 have again threatened to start killing the remaining 50 abducted passengers within 24 hours.
The development came at a time relatives and friends of the remaining hostages held a peaceful rally in Kaduna on Wednesday to demand their release.
The fresh threat was contained in a viral audio obtained by our correspondent in which one of the abductors threatened “to slaughter the victims because the government failed to seek for their release.”
One of the negotiators and media consultant to Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, Tukur Mamu, confirmed the authenticity of the audio to journalists in Kaduna.
He said the terrorists fixed Wednesday to carry out the threat as they were provoked by the government on Monday.
Mamu, who is also the publisher of Kaduna-based Desert Herald newspaper, said on hearing of the threat, he pleaded with the terrorists to, instead, reach out to the families since there was delay from the government.
He said, “The terrorists fixed Wednesday to carry out the threat because they were provoked on Monday after giving us another opportunity.
“I was crying and pleading with them that since there is a delay from the government, they should discuss with the family members directly to negotiate the victims’ release.
“Based on the plea, they agreed to negotiate directly with the victims’ families. But they said they are giving us till Wednesday, saying if there was nothing concrete from those that are interested in the negotiation, they would start slaughtering some of the victims.”
Relatives and friends of the victims, who protested on the streets of Kaduna on Wednesday, demanded the immediate release of the remaining hostages, saying they had spent 100 days in captivity.
The leader of the forum, Dr Abdulfatai Jimoh, while addressing journalists, appealed to the Federal Government to do all that is necessary to rescue the remaining hostages from the terrorists’ den.”
Jimoh said, “If you remember, our loved ones spent Easter and Eid-il-fitr in the bush. Today, we are just three days away from Eid-il-Kabir. We are praying they will spend the Eid-il-Kabir with us. This is our hope and prayer.
“We want the government to do all that is necessary. We know it is possible. They can do it, they should do it please.
“It is a responsibility they owed us as Nigerian citizens. We are citizens in our country. We should be free to move everywhere. We should be protected.”