The 67 passengers abducted by terrorists on March 28 after the bombing of a Kaduna-bound train are 48 days old in the prison of the terrorists today while Nigerian politicians are jostling for power ahead of the 2023 elections.
The terrorists had two week ago freed Sadik, the son of elder statesman and Northern Elders Forum (NEF) convener, Professor Ango Abdullahi, thus reducing the number of captives to 67.
A relative of one of the abductees, who also speaks on behalf of the affected families in Kaduna State, Dr. Abdulfatai Jimoh, said their plea remained that the federal government should strike a deal with the terrorists, so that their loved ones can be freed.
Popular Islamic cleric, Gumi, who spoke during a prayer session organised by Jama’iyyar Matan Arewa for the kidnapped passengers on Thursday, also challenged the federal government to meet the demands of the abductors and secure freedom for the abductees.
The affected families at a press briefing in Kaduna last Monday asked the terrorists to exercise the fear of God and release them, lamenting that life had been tough without their breadwinners.
Jimoh, who spoke at the press briefing, expressed disappointment with the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), for alleged insensitivity towards the plight of the victims.
The relations also expressed disappointment that they sought the intervention of the leadership of the National Assembly, “which is the people’s Court, but nothing had been forthcoming from them.”
Also, children of the victims at the press conference by the relations, appealed to the government to do everything possible to ensure the release of their parents.
One of the children, Ismail Abubakar, 11, claimed life had been tough without his father, saying, “I am appealing to them to release my father and others safely. They should set them free. Life has been tough without my father since he was kidnapped.”
Similarly, 18 years old Ruqqayatu Jibril, whose parents are in captivity, pleaded with the terrorists to free their victims.
“I have my parents in captivity. This is their 42nd day in captivity and still counting. We are appealing to the government to bring back our loved ones. We have missed them so much. Some of them are breadwinners of the family. We really need them back. We, the family, are waiting in anguish,” she said.
While noting that living without them has been traumatic, she said, “It is so terrifying. We are appealing to the government to do their best possible to rescue our beloved ones unhurt. We are appealing to the bandits to please free our loved ones. They are also humans. We are humans like you. Even if you don’t share anything in religion, then, you share in humanity.
“Why should you just capture fellow citizens? You are also citizens of this blessed country. But why should you be capturing people that are your brothers and sisters and keeping them in captivity for almost six weeks. Please and please, fear God and free them.”