The terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28 have issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government to release their children before negotiation for the release of the abducted passengers can begin.
While nine persons were shot dead in the attack, some sustained injuries while over 60 passengers, including children and elderly persons, were abducted.
However, a Kaduna-based Publisher, Tukur Mamu, has said the children of the Abuja-Kaduna train attackers have been found alive and in good condition at an undisclosed location.
The terrorists had contacted him to demand the release of their children seized from their mothers by the federal government as a condition to negotiate the release of the passengers abducted in the March 28 attack.
Mamu told Daily Trust on Monday that the pictures and video of the children had been sent to their parents as proof of their condition as demanded.
“We have gone the extra mile and succeeded in identifying their (children) location and we confirmed to them with proof that these kids are alive and well taken care of. The evidence sent to them had really helped in dousing their anger and tension.
“It has also given them confidence that within the little time a move was made to identify their whereabouts and found them alive. Having done that we pleaded with them that since there is the tendency of getting their children back so what will they give in return for the effort done.
“They agreed in principle that the earlier threat of stopping the feeding and provision of medical services to the victims has been withdrawn and that it will continue at their expense.
“Also, the threat to commence execution has equally been withdrawn but with two weeks conditions for a positive response.
“If the government is sincere and serious within two weeks they will come up with terms for a serious talk. But if within the two weeks there is no positive development that will be the end,” he said.
Mamu declined further comment on where the children are and in whose custody after they were found for security reasons.
We are dying, victims cry out
Meanwhile, the terrorists have released yet another video of the victims.
In a new video, eight of the captives – five men and three women – called on the federal government to accede to the demands of their captors.
While the men knelt, the women sat on a mat as flies hovered around them.
A victim, who identified herself as Mariam Abubakar, said one of her four children abducted alongside herself and her husband had fallen sick in captivity.
“I was one of those captured on that train with four of my children and my husband. We are appealing to the federal government, our families and everyone that can to please come to our aid. We have been here for 62 days and unfavorable inhabitable conditions unimaginable.
“We have been sick. In fact, one of my sons, two of them are even sick at the moment with no medical supplies. So, we are pleading with you to please come to our aid,” she said.
A gunman who appeared in the video said the government could either listen to the victims or abandon them.
The man who spoke in English said, “We are the people that abducted these people from the Abuja-Kaduna train, so they are appealing to us saying that they wanted to talk to the federal government and we gave them chance to speak. It is left for you to listen to them or abandon them.”
Sadiq, son of elder statesman, Ango Abdullahi, said most of the victims were sick.
“We are appealing to the federal government to once again come to our aid. We have been here for 62 days. Most of us here are sick and we are not in good condition and every day the situation deteriorates. We are appealing to the federal government to please come to our aid before we start losing our lives,” he said.
Another victim, who identified herself as a classmate of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Nigerian Law School, broke down in tears, saying she is disturbed by the plight of her son who is a “sicklier”.
She said, “My name is Gladys….I’m pleading particularly to Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was my classmate in 78/79 Law School. You are a grandfather and a father; come to our aid because we have been here for 62 days and I have a son who is a sicklier; I don’t know his condition now.
“I am pleading that the federal government and Rotimi Amaechi who is the Minister of Transportation to please come to our assistance. I’m pleading. We are all sick. Right now, I’m even sick too. But for my son who is a sicklier, I don’t know his condition. I am appealing to the federal government.”
Relatives of the victims have made repeated calls for their release, with the federal government assuring that steps are being taken to rescue the passengers.
Seun Adeuyi (Abuja) & Mohammed Ibrahim Yaba (Kaduna)