[FILES] PHOTO: AFP
Mediator tells govt to act fact, save train victims
Gunmen, who attacked Maranatha Baptist Church and St. Moses Catholic Church in Robuh, Ungwan Aku, Kajuru Local Council of Kaduna State, on Sunday, are demanding N100 million to free about 36 worshippers in their custody.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, had confirmed three persons killed in the attack by the bandits, who reportedly stormed the communities on about 30 motorcycles.
Traditional leader of Angwan Fada at Robuh, who was a victim, Elisha Mari, disclosed to journalists yesterday that the abductors released him to go look for N100 million to secure the release of others.
He spoke to journalists when heads of security agencies and Kaduna government delegation visited him, yesterday. Explaining that it took them about two hours to arrive at the bandits’ camp, he noted that he was freed because of his traditional title, but was asked to raise at least N100 million ransom before those in captivity would freed.
A witness, Bashir Usman, told journalists that the three persons who were killed tried to repel the terrorists. According to him, one woman sadly had one of her ears cut off by the terrorists.
SURVIVAL of the remaining 50 Abuja-Kaduna train passengers abducted by terrorists now hangs in the balance, as most of them have been struck by life-threatening sicknesses in the bandits’ den. Snakes have reportedly bitten some of the abductees in the forest, where the terrorists kept them.
The Guardian gathered that the abductors only deploy local therapy on the ailing victims. Sheikh Ahmad Gumi’s spokesman, Tukur Mamu, said, yesterday, that he was alerting the leadership of the country, the security agencies and concerned Nigerians that something very urgent must be done to save the lives of the remaining victims.
A fortnight ago, the terrorists released 11 of the 61 victims.
Mamu said: “This is no time to politicised issues. Lives of promising, innocent Nigerians are involved in this. Their health condition is deteriorating by the day. Even animals without proper care will hardly survive in the environment they are forced to live in for nearly three months now.
“I believe government is aware and has taken note of the testimony of the 11 victims that were secured. It makes me sad when issues like this are not treated with dispatch, seriousness and the speed it requires.”
According to Mamu, beside lack of diagnosis and treatment, poor nutrition and sanitary condition, as well as the unbearable forest life most of the hostages are subjected to have lately developed life-threatening complications, with some even vomiting blood.
He further revealed that the condition of those with illnesses was fast deteriorating, calling on the Federal Government to act fast.
Mamu expressed the frustration and pain he felt while giving updates to the lingering imbroglio, noting that it was not meant to embarrass the government or to create panic, but for those concerned to be alerted for urgent collective efforts.
“I can confirm to you that snakes are many in that forest. Some of them are victims of snake bites, as the snakes appear frequently in the night. The bandits only depend on local solution to treat the victims.
“The bites, as we know, can be life-threatening. Government is the only authority with the means and powers to end this crisis as soon as possible. With the right approach, I can assure you it can be achieved within days or weeks. We have proven that in the release of the 11 victims,” he stated.
The negotiators called on government to use a “negligible” portion of the recovered loot to secure the victims.
“If we can tolerate corrupt officials that are stealing billions of naira every day as a result of which poverty and insecurity increase, for me, it is not out of place to use negligible part of such stolen resources to secure such victims, whenever the need arises. If, for any reason, government did not act promptly, since it has been alerted, they must be prepared to take full responsibility,” Mamu added.
[FILES] PHOTO: AFP