Families of Kaduna train victims mark 65 days in captivity

Posted by News Express | 4 June 2022 | 415 times

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•Some of the family members of the victims of Kaduna train attack of March 28


Families of the 62 victims of Kaduna train attack which occurred on March 28, 2022 on Thursday expressed grave concerns over the fate of the two-year-old baby, pregnant women, the aged parents as well as others with critical health conditions, who have been held captive by terrorists over the past 65 days.

They expressed their concerns at a meeting held with the member representing Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo of Osun State in the 9th House of Representatives, Hon. Bamidele Salam, which marks the 65-day of incarceration of their loved ones.

The aggrieved family members who frowned at the lackadaisical attitude of Federal Government towards ensuring timely release of the 62 people tasked President Muhammadu Buhari and relevant authorities on the need to redouble efforts toward reuniting the abductees to their immediate families.

Speaking through their Chairman, Mr Aliyu Mahmood, they called for the involvement of representatives of the victims’ families in the ongoing negotiation with the bandits.

He said: “We are tired of being in the press and we really are not impressed with how the government has handled the matter. We appreciate their efforts but we need to see things move rapidly.

“These people have been in captivity for 65 days. They are out in the open. This is the rainy season. They don’t have shelter. They don’t have all the necessary things human needs to feel secure and we have a toddler that is two years old. You can only imagine what they are going through. I am sure the environment is really hostile.

“You have people with guns. You have people that are so sick and don’t have medications. We are talking about 65 days of zero movements as far as we are concerned.

“We are still pleading with the government and if the government feels they can actually open doors of discussion for us to talk to the bandits, we look forward to that. That is, in fact, what we want because maybe, we can convince them and they will do the needful and release all these people that in captivity.

 “So, please, try and be proactive. Let this thing be finished as soon as possible. I am short of words and I can’t think straight as I am talking to you now. This is the best I can say.

“This issue is not all of about the family members that are here. This issue is all about Nigerians. I have said, too many times, that all of us are victims,” he said.

He applauded Salam for staging a one-man protest to press the demand for the release of the victims.

“Honourable, you did well. I will say that, on a personal ground, you have shown us that you are a true Nigerian and a person that has empathy and knows that this thing is for all of us,” he applauded Hon. Salam.

On her part, Mrs Idayat Yusuf solicited for National Assembly’s intervention.

“It’s been 65 days of trauma, heartbreaks and unimaginable experience from those in captivity and those at home. It’s not been easy at all. In all our press conferences, we have been pleading, calling on Mr President and security agencies to help.

“It’s been 65 days and no results. Every time, they keep assuring us, we really beg and plead for urgent negotiations whatever they are doing because time is very important.

“The children and the women there are falling sick. We have people with guns and bullets there. We are begging and pleading with the government and the leadership of the National Assembly now that we have an honourable member who had come out to speak with us in one voice, to please, come to our aid, and do more, especially the leadership of the National Assembly because we see the National Assembly as a court of the masses.

“I believe that each one of us has a constituency there. So, we are calling them to raise their voice for us, not only Hon. Bamidele. They should speak for those in captivity. They are all citizens of Nigeria. They should collaborate with the security agencies and speed up on whatever mode of releasing them,” she urged.

According to her, the group met with the “Honourable Minister of State for Transport (on Wednesday, June 1, 2022). She called us to sympathize with us. We were happy. It’s better late than never.

“We wrote to the Honourable Minister, Rotimi Amaechi before he left and he didn’t invite us. We also expressed our feeling that coming after 64 days, we were not happy about that but we thank and appreciate her for inviting us. So, we thanked her. There is a saying that says it’s better late than never,” she added.

While addressing representatives of the victims’ families, Hon. Bamidele assured them of his resolve to interface with the leadership of the House with a view to fast-track the release of the 62 victims.

“I am here to meet with some family members of our fellow citizens who have been in captivity for over 60 days as a result of the attack on Kaduna/Abuja train service in the month of March 2023.

“You will recall that yesterday I had a walk to call on the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the leadership of this country as a whole to rise up and do more to secure freedom for men and women who have been in the captivity of bandits for this length of time.

“Like I did say yesterday, the walk was actually triggered by the video of some of these abductees that I watched two day ago. After the walk, I had quite a number of information and contact of certain persons who are directly connected with this incident and it is this contact that led to the meeting we held this afternoon.

“Having met with them from close to an hour now, I and listening to their story, I think the first point is to, on behalf of the leadership of this country, apologize to them for the lack of enough empathy because from my interactions with them, I discovered that they have actually taken steps to write letter to persons in government including the national assembly.

“And we have agreed that we have to walk together going forward to have a structured approach to whatever government is doing to secure the release of these Nigerians and also put out an appeal to the abductors themselves if there is any means they will watch or listen to this; that they should please, for the sake of the Almighty Allah, let the milk of kindness which the Almighty God has put in every human being flow in them and decide on their own to grant freedom to these fellow humans.

“I am going to be engaging the leadership of the national assembly to take on this matter in a more pragmatic and proactive manner so that we can bring this to an end as quickly as possible,” Salam stressed.  (Nigerian Tribune)

Source: News Express

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