By Charles Edet
The Action Committee set up by the Chief Of Defence Staff , General Irabor on Wednesday secured the release of the remaining 23 passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.
The Secretary to the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee, Usman Yusuf in a statement, said that the hostages were released at about 4pm on Wednesday.
Yusuf, said that the committee took the custody of the victims who were kidnapped by terrorists during an attack on a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022, which Boko Haram insurgent group claimed responsibility.
On March 28, 2022, Boko Haram terrorists, attacked the AK9 Train from Abuja to Kaduna, killed some of the passengers and kidnapped several of the passengers.
Since the ugly incident occurred, the terrorists had before this last release, freed hostages in piecemeal with the last release of August 19, 2022.
The Boko Haram terrorists had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The attack which took security agencies and Nigerians by surprise, elicited international and national condemnation.
The affected families of the kidnapped victims, staged protests on several occasions to the government demanding the release of their loved ones.
In view of the negative development, the Nigerian Railway Corporation decided to
temporarily suspend its train services, immediately the President ordered security agencies to go all out in rescue of the victims after he met with the victims families and relations.
To calm tension over fears of Nigerians, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will not resume until all those kidnapped by bandits in March were rescued and reunited with their families.
It was assumed that the arrest of a Major terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6, 2022 , would hinder the release of the victims, but the Department of State Security debunked that impression, assuring that the victims will get their freedom without any hindrance.
It was however worrisome that a negotiator was arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and had connection with terrorists.
It was indeed a plus to Nigeria’s good diplomatic cooperation relationship with Egypt that helped to return the suspect back to Nigeria the next day.
The revelation by Department of State Services that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of kidnap victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.
Manu’s Boss and mentor, a known Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest of Mamu.
Gumi had demanded that DSS should charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, instead of detaining him (Manu ) in their custody.
Responding, the DSS, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on the ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said have remained shocking.