Families paid N800m to free 7 Kaduna train hostages

families paid n800m to free 7 kaduna train hostages
families paid n800m to free 7 kaduna train hostages

Before the additional seven victims were released on Saturday, the terrorists holding hostages from the AK9 train service struck on the Abuja–Kaduna route were paid 800 million naira, according to victims’ families and other individuals familiar with the agreement.

The released victims were among the scores of passengers kidnapped by gunmen who derailed the train on March 28.

No organisation has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but security sources and researchers have attributed it to remnants of Boko Haram collaborating with members of the Darul Salam, a group primarily comprised of Fulani youths displaced from the states of Niger and Nasarawa at different times.

However, others have ascribed the attack to Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP), despite the fact that they have not formally claimed responsibility for it.

In light of the claimed refusal of the federal government to accede to the terrorists’ demands, suspicions grew that the terrorists would execute all individuals in their captivity.

The Daily Trust claimed on Tuesday that the captors of the train passengers had sent an audio tape to the victims’ relatives in which they threatened to execute the prisoners if the families refused to negotiate with them.

Families of each of the six Nigerian victims reportedly paid N100 million, while the captors demanded N200 million for the Pakistani captive, which was also paid.

According to our sources, the ransom was paid in naira and U.S. dollars.

One of our sources stated, “Only N200 million was received in naira, the remaining N600 million was paid in dollars.”

Those released were identified as Muhammad Daiyabu Paki, Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule, Sadiq Ango Abdullahi, Aliyu Usman and Muhammad Abuzar Afzal, the Pakistani.

“All the relatives of the victims felt abandoned by the federal government and consequently had to pay for the release of their loved ones,” a source close to one of the released individuals explained. “The truth is that the FG does not care about our suffering… Those in authority are indifferent to the fate of the detainees.

Therefore, we sold our property and raised funds. It is the same for all released individuals’ families. Alhamdulillah, that was worth every penny,” he stated.

According to the Daily Trust, the chief negotiator for the release of the victims, Kaduna-based newspaper owner Tukur Mamu, stated on Saturday that he had secured the release of the seven abductees through mediation, while remaining mute on any ransom payment.

Mamu, a media consultant for Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, declared his resignation from negotiations with the terrorists last week owing to the apparent indifference of the government to the situation of the railway hostages.

He stated, however, that he was compelled to continue the mediation due to intense pressure and appeal from the victims’ relatives and loved ones.

Previously, the kidnappers had released three groups of hostages, including Alwan Hassan, the managing director of the Bank of Agriculture, a group of eleven victims, and a pregnant woman who was released alone.

One of our journalists was told by a security source that the federal government rarely secures the release of captives.

“Government is not willing to release terrorists in its possession due to an international agreement.

“However, it is regrettable that in Nigeria, where we rarely agree to prisoner swaps, terrorists invariably get their way, as evidenced by the recent attack on Kuje Prison, where a number of high-profile terrorists were released.

We are unable to safeguard our prisons or our citizens. Hundreds of terrorists have been released from multiple prisons… “It is regrettable,” he stated.

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