Train attack: We’re committed to ensuring safe return of the captives – Buhari tells families

EMERGENCY DIGEST- President Muhammadu Buhari said Thursday that the federal government will not use force in securing the release of the remaining abductees of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train.

The president said they had weighed all options and concluded that the best way to bring all the victims back home safely was not to use force. He, however, said that the federal government was doing everything within its powers to ensure the safe return of the remaining captives.

The President gave the assurance Thursday during a meeting with the representatives of the families of the victims at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting came two days after seven more kidnapped passengers of the March 28 train attack regained their freedom after spending 135 days in the custody of the terrorists.

The terrorists have been releasing the captives piecemeal with credible sources saying they are extorting money from the families of the victims.

Many of the victims earlier released said their families had paid ransom as much as N100m.

While some sources close to the federal government said some of the abductees were released after “prisoner swap”, it was learnt that the terrorists have been reneging on most of the promises they made.

One of the sources said while the government is reluctant to use force, many families of the victims have been pauperised because they have sold their houses, farms, and other assets to raise ransom.

According to the source, “Many families are still trying to raise the ransom because the terrorists are not willing to accept any entreaties; they operating from advantaged position.

“They have released most of their high profile members from Kuje prison; they have also secured the release of their children in custody of government through prisoner swap and they are using the remaining captives as human shield and at the same time collecting ransom from desperate families,” he said.

One of the victims released some weeks ago told the Daily Trust last night that not all of them were invited to the presidency.

“I was not invited…The security operatives have our numbers but only a few were invited to interact with the president,” he said.

nigerian tribune newspaper

 
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