Relatives and friends of the abducted passengers of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna AK-9 train have again appealed to the Federal Government to speed up the process of the release of the remaining 50 hostages who had so far spent 87 days with terrorists.
The PUNCH reported that the bandits had penultimate Saturday, released 11 out of the 61 victims of the abducted train passengers after almost three months in their custody, remaining 50 hostages still in the den of their captive.
But the relatives and friends of the abducted passengers said some of its members are contemplating to committing suicide while thinking of the harrowing experience the remaining 50 hostages were going through at the moment.
While addressing newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday, Dr. Abdulfatai Jimoh, who spoke on behalf of other families, expressed delight on the release of the 11 hostages by the bandits.
He, however, noted that the families thought the 22 women and children would have been set free in the first phase of those released by the terrorists.
According to him, their joy will know no bounds if the remaining 50 hostages are set free by their captors in the shortest time possible.
Jimoh, also urged the security agencies to hasten the process of releasing the remaining 50 hostages as directed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd,).
He said, “Since this dark day of 28th March 2022 only 11 people out of the abducted citizens have been reunited with their families leaving behind 50 innocent Nigerians in the hands of their abductors under horrible conditions of living.
“Our hearts were gladdened on Tuesday, 21 June 2022 when Mr.President issued fresh orders to security chiefs to spare no effort in freeing the remaining 50 hostages alive and in the shortest time possible.
“Our joy will know no bounds if this presidential directive is given accelerated action that results in a positive outcome.
“It is necessary to restate that our family members still in captivity are living under horrendous conditions, many of them are sick with poor medical care addition to poor nutrition, environmental hazards and more frighteningly living in perpetual fear of threat to life. These conditions have led to deteriorating health status – both physical and psychological of the hostages and it calls for urgent rescue efforts.
“Family members of these hostages are not left out in this harrowing experience with some already in depression with suicidal thoughts. We cannot wait to see the end of this nightmare.
“While we had expected all the women and children(22 people in total) held hostage to have been released in the first phase of the negotiation with the abductors, we are glad to receive the 11 persons now rescued, but our joy
will only be complete when all abductees regain their freedom.”
Jimoh commended the efforts of the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, Heads of Security Agencies, the Presidential Committee, Institutions, Organizations and individuals who had collectively worked tirelessly for the success of the first phase of negotiation.
“We learnt that negotiations are ongoing for the second phase and we hope and pray that this phase will be final phase to bring this sad incident to a joyful closure with the release of the remaining 50 captives and in the shortest time possible,” Jimoh added.