Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack : Military Releases Remaining 23 Hostages After Six Months

Families of the remaining 23 victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack rejoiced on Wednesday, just after Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor announced their release.

They were released after being held captive by terrorists for six months and eight days, during which time they were tortured and subjected to dehumanising treatment.

The Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee (CDSAC) announced the development in a statement signed by its secretary, Prof Usman Yusuf, saying that the nation owes the Armed Forces a debt of gratitude for accomplishing the feat and that the victims were released by their abductors yesterday around 4pm.

The statement read, “I am pleased to announce to the nation and the world that at 4pm today, Wednesday, October 5, 2022, the seven-man Presidential Committee assembled by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on March 28, 2022.

“The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian Military under the leadership of the CDS who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish.

“All sister security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this operation.”

Aminu Lawal Othman, spokesperson for the train attack victims, who confirmed their release to LEADERSHIP, said the operation was purely a military affair, even as he thanked Nigerians for their prayers and support during their trying times.

He said no ransom was paid by any member of the families.

Reaction Of Family Members

However, the families of the 23 kidnapped victims who have been released have confirmed their release but have yet to see them.

Recall that on March 28, 2022, about 63 passengers were kidnapped during an attack on the Abuja-Kaduna bound train, during which nine passengers were killed.

Until the release of the last 23 victims, about 40 of the kidnapped passengers were released in batches, some after paying a ransom in the hundreds of millions of naira.

Abdulfatai Jimoh, the leader of the kidnapped victims’ family, and another family member, Sani Lawal, confirmed knowledge of the remaining passengers’ release but said that they had yet to get in touch with them.

“We got the news of their release but we are yet to get in touch with them; we pray that it is true that they are all released,” Jimoh said.

Jimoh also thanked the Federal Government and members of the armed forces for putting smiles on the faces of the victims’ families.

“We thank God that, at last, everybody has regained his or her freedom. We are grateful to the Federal Government and the Armed Forces for all their efforts in securing the release of the reminding captives.”

Buhari Expresses Happiness, Satisfaction Upon The Release Of The Remaining 23 Hostages

President Muhammadu Buhari has also joined in expressing his happiness and satisfaction with that of the entire nation and the military as well as other security agencies on the safe release of the remaining 23 kidnapped train passengers held in captivity by Boko Haram terrorists.

In a reaction to the news of the safe release of the hostages in line with his earlier directives, President Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, said the nation owed the military and all other security and intelligence agencies a debt of gratitude for the successful operation leading to the release of the hostages, saying these agencies had shown outstanding capabilities over this period that the whole world will not fail to take note of.

“This country’s Armed Forces are as good as any. Given needed support and encouragement as we have been doing, there is no task that they cannot accomplish. I commend them for this remarkable outcome,” the president said.

In expressing satisfaction at the successful deployment of both kinetic and non-kinetic processes leading to the eventual safe release of the remaining hostages, President Buhari also congratulated the families of the victims for having them back alive.

He directed that the relief that comes to the nation arising from the closure of this unfortunate saga must be sustained at all times, all over the federation.

Ada Peter
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