The attackers of the bombed Abuja-Kaduna train have asked for N4.3 billion to release the 43 abducted passengers who are still in their custody.
According to the PUNCH, the abductors are demanding N100 million fr for each abductee.
The terrorists attacked the train travelling from Abuja to Kaduna on March 28. Eight passengers died as a result of the attack and the attackers kidnapped over 60 passengers. Among other demands, the abductors asked for the release of 15 terrorist commanders detained by the military to free abductees.
The terrorists released 11 hostages on June 12 and seven more on July 9. A family member of the abducted victims told reporters that the terrorists were asking each family to pay N100 million.
“It is money that is still delaying the release of the others. The situation now is that if you have your money, your loved ones would be freed. They have pegged the ransom at N100 million. It is just unfortunate,” he said.
Other families have started to negotiate with the terrorists, begging them to reduce the ransom so they could afford it.
“My loved one has not been released. Those that were released paid N100 million. I don’t have that kind of money. The kidnappers got in touch with us. They said they were no longer negotiating with the Federal Government. Getting N100m is the dilemma; many of us don’t have,” another family member of a victim said.
Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule, Sadiq Abdullahi, Muhammad Paki, Aliyu Usman and Muhammad Afzal, a Pakistani, are the seven passengers released on Saturday.
“The soldiers were considerate enough to hand us over to Tukur Mamu, the lead negotiator, after we insisted that we would not go with them. The most difficult job has been done by him. Praise be to God,” Abdullahi said.
“We were all taken to his office and even before then, he had contacted all our family members to come and pick us up. I can confirm to you that this man did this thing alone because even our family members were taken by surprise. They least expected the rescue soon, more so, that today (Saturday) is Sallah day.”
Abdullahi, son of Ango Abdullahi, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said the hostages are suffering from deteriorating health.
Peter Afunanya, the Department of State Service (DSS) spokesperson, refused to comment on the terrorists’ demands. Muyiwa Adejobi, Police Public Relations Officer, told the PUNCH he was not aware of the negotiations with the kidnappers.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.