The Federal Government has opened channel of discussion with the terrorists who abducted over 60 passengers of a Kaduna-bound train over two weeks ago, according to relatives of the victims.
At least nine people were killed and over 60 abducted when terrorists planted explosives along the Abuja-Kaduna corridor, forcing the targeted train to derail.
The terrorists had then opened fire on the train before abducting dozen on the evening of March 28, 2022.
However, nine days after the attack, the terrorists released the Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, after an alleged N100million ransom.
Speaking with journalists in Kaduna, the relatives and friends of the abducted passengers on Friday said they have been assured by the Federal Government that the channel of discussions with the terrorists have been opened.
“After the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, we heard from the Federal Government through the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed that the government is in dialogue. That government is already discussing with the abductors of our relatives,” said Dr Jimoh Fatai, who has been designated as chairman of the group pressing for the release of their loved ones.
“We are happy about it, we note it, we acknowledge it and we appreciate the efforts of the government in that regard. What we are now appealing for is that government should speed up the process,” he said.
Daily Trust reports that the news comes at the expiration of a 72 hour ultimatum issued by the relatives to the Nigerian Government to open discussions that will see to the release of the captives.
Dr Fatai said since the initial contact, the terrorists have yet to contact them on the condition of their loved ones even as they expressed concern that the captives will be going through untold hardship during the raining season.
The group admonished the Nigeria Railway Corporation against any attempt to resume the Abuja-Kaduna train service stressing that priority should be on the safety and release of those in captivity.
“The NRC should not be in a hurry to resume its service because we don’t was a recurrence of what happened. Priority for now should be on bringing back our people who are in captivity home,” he said.