Negotiator says abducted train passenger shot, families beg Reps

Kaduna train attack
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Tukur Mamu, a negotiator and media consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has disclosed that Mohammed Al’Amin, one of the remaining 50 abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers has been shot by bandits.

Mamu said the incident happened on Monday based on information that was made available to him.

He said that the incident occurred during a “friendly exchange of fire at the forest between the abductors that are guarding the victims and these preventing them from possible escape.”

He said the victim was critically injured but still alive and required medical attention.

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According to Mamu, who was quoted in the latest edition of the Kaduna-based newspaper, Desert Herald, obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday, the shooting of one of the hostages may have been done intentionally for the “purpose of sending a message.”

He added that he begged the terrorists to release the victim so that he could get medication, but they “vehemently refused.”

He also expressed concern that there had been constant communication but the government had yet to make a decision, adding that the government must take “painful decisions to secure the innocent victims alive.”

“I know what is in this crisis and that is why I keep emphasising that President Buhari must be prepared to take painful decisions, painful compromises if they are really committed to securing these innocent victims alive.

“With what we have succeeded in doing, the windows and opportunities we opened which there’s been none hitherto, the government has the power to bring this to an end within three to four days,” he stated.

Mamu, who had earlier announced his withdrawal from the negotiating team, claimed that the victim families had prevailed on him and his principal, Gumi, to continue to be part of the negotiation.

Meanwhile, family members of the abducted passengers, on Wednesday, visited the House of Representatives to plead with the lawmakers to ensure the rescue of the abductees.

Two family members, who spoke on behalf of others, begged the lawmakers to urgently intervene in the matter.

They were received by two members of the House, Messrs Bamidele Salam (PDP/Osun) and Mansur Soro (APC/Bauchi), who represented 11 lawmakers that have been pushing for the release of the captives.

Wife of one of the kidnapped victims, Matilda Kabir, said, “We are here to plead with the House of Representatives. The news we are getting is not favourable. We are here to beg them to help us. It is not funny again. The news we got this morning is one person was shot. We don’t know who is next.”

 Another family member, Aminu Uthman, whose brother was kidnapped, said the Federal Government and security agencies should be put under more pressure to ensure their release.

Salam said the lawmakers had on Tuesday initiated contact with two persons directly involved with negotiations for the release of the victims.

Also, Soro said the lawmakers would intensify pressure in appropriate quarters to ensure the captives are freed. When contacted on the telephone, one of the leaders of the Victims Families, who is also the Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Abdulfatai Jimoh, promised to get back to our correspondent on the matter. However, as of the time of filing this report, he had yet to do so.

On the government side, the telephone line of the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, was not reachable when our correspondent made attempts to contact him on Wednesday.

But a top official of the state, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, noted that security matter, especially as sensitive as the remaining 50 abducted passengers can’t be discussed publicly.

“How can any sensible government discuss such matter on the pages of newspaper at the moment?” he asked.

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