One hundred and three days after the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna AK9 train where nine persons were killed and 63 other passengers kidnapped, the terrorists have freed seven victims.
Lead negotiator and Media Consultant to Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar, Mallam Tukur Mamu, facilitated the release on Saturday.
Among those freed are: Ango Abdullahi’s son, Sadiq, Abdullahi, a Pakistani, Dr Muhammad Abuzar Afzal, Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule, Muhammad Daiyabu Paki and Aliyu Usman.
Mamu was instrumental in the dialogue that led to the release of the eleven victims of the train attack and succeeded in convincing the abductors of the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers to drop the recent threat of slaughtering their victims.
According to him: “I want to assure the nation that everything that was achieved today was singlehandedly initiated and arranged by me with the full support and prayers of my principal, Sheikh Gumi.
“That is why I keep emphasizing that government has the power to end the agony of these innocent victims in one day. This is just one individual that sacrifices his life and even integrity. There is no military solution to the current security debacle in Nigeria. When you sincerely engage them these guys even though wicked with misguided religious beliefs, are listening. I have sufficient evidence to prove that they due listen. It is this power of engagement and sincerity that resulted in the release of these seven victims.
“In whatever I do I don’t need or require any reward from anybody but from Allah but I hope the nation we sacrificed our lives for will recognize us”.
“Mamu said the seven rescued victims have been handed over to the military and are now on their way to Kaduna. He thank the Kaduna military GOC for the support he gave during the rescue mission.
“The location they (abductors) gave is remote, sensitive, and risky. There was a military checkpoint before penetrating the forest. My team was stopped by the soldiers but when they told the military our mission they contacted the GOC and he immediately gave approval for them to proceed. And after the victims were successfully evacuated, traveling through over 40 kilometers in the forest, they were given a military escort back to Kaduna at the checkpoint.”
But Mamu lamented despite the poor medical condition of many of the rescued victims, securities that took over are unnecessarily wasting their time in a military unit on the outskirts of Kaduna.
When asked whether ransom was paid for the release of the victims, Mamu said: “The seven rescued victims are in the best position to confirm that. Money cannot achieve what I have done today. And I will never involve myself in any issue that has to do with money.
“I am also under serious watch. I am sure if they have evidence against me I cannot be talking freely in the manner I used to do. However, this is no time for the blame game. We must come together as a nation to confront our challenges. I pray and hope that government will learn a lot of lessons in the development of today. We thank Allah that He uses us to make many happy”.
Mamu pleaded with the families of the remaining victims to actively engage the government to secure the release of their loved ones and insisted that with what he has proven again, he will not be involved in such a risky mission again.