Families of the abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers on Tuesday lamented that they are helpless since they are not in a position to meet the demands of the bandits who have kept their loved ones in captivity since March 28.
They have therefore called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to personally wade into the matter to ensure the safe return of the abducted passengers.
Leader of the families, under the umbrella of the Relatives of the AK-9 Abuja-Kaduna Train Kidnapped Passengers, Baaba Mohammed, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent.
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 videos of the victims 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.
Mohammed said the latest video showed that further delay in rescuing the victims could portend danger to the captives.
He said, “We are pleading with the government that time is of essence, we are urging the government to take note of all those things. If you look at the body language of those in the video you saw yesterday (Monday), you will see the need for urgency and I don’t think we have the luxury of time to foot drag.
“The President should directly intervene. He needs to talk to the security operatives to understand that every minute that passes without necessarily taking action is detrimental to the health of these people.
“We are tired and very exhausted too because there is nothing that needs to be done that we have not done. We have met with the CDS, among others. It looks like we have exhausted all the options available to us, the only thing we are left with is to keep calling on God.”
Mohammed stated that the terrorists’ demand had put the families in tight conditions, adding that if they had the means, they would have long met them.
He added, “The negotiation is not what we the family members can deliver. If you look at their demands, the family members can’t go and be looking for their children even if we are able to trace and find them and the terrorists confirm they are the ones, we can’t take them to the terrorists.”
“Otherwise, we would not have reached the position we are. We are yet to reach out to Gunmi. The government has told us that they are in touch with them and they know the process and our main concern is to have our family members back.”
“The issue is if we can help in any way to facilitate this and the government is ready to put us in between to do that, why not? But if you look at it, it is beyond us.”