By Enekorogha Godbless
Relatives of the kidnapped victims disclosed on Friday that the Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced negotiations with bandits who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train.
It would be recalled that the bandits killed scores of passengers and kidnapped about seventy (70) others during the attack. The relatives of the abducted victims had earlier urged the federal government to swing into negotiations with the hoodlums to secure the lives of their beloved relations.
In a press conference on Friday in Kaduna, the families of the victims rebuked the minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi for publicizing his ambition of being the next president a few days after their relatives were being abducted.
The families of the abducted victims maintained that the declaration made by the minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi’s presidential ambition was not profitable since the incident that occurred in the country was under his custody.
Dr Abdulfatai Jimoh, the leader of the abducted victims told the Press that the federal government (FG) had started negotiations with the hoodlums immediately after the 72-hour-ultimatum handed down to them.
He maintained, “we are happy that the government has started discussing with the abductors of our relatives.”
He said: “It is true that we gave the Federal Government 72 hour ultimatum which expired yesterday (Thursday) at midnight. We are grateful to God that before the expiration of the 72 hours, we heard from the Federal Government after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday through the Minister of Information that the government was already on top of the situation with what has happened.
“We acknowledged it and we appreciate it. But what we want to add is that the government should speed up the process of discussion with them (bandits) so that they can come out to release our people soonest. This is our appeal now.”
He included that: “The NRC should not be talking about reopening their services now when our people are in captive because what is the assurance that if they start services now that people that will board the train are safe.
“What measure(s) have they put in place to guarantee the security of those that are going to patronise their services. We don’t want the reoccurrence of this.”
He maintained: “The first thing should be to get the captives out and then they can put adequate measures in place and resume service so that this does not happen again in future.”
The Chairman of the NRC said: “We want to believe that they won’t try it and if they do, we won’t take it lightly with them because human lives are involved. We believe they won’t. We believe they won’t because they know what’s at stake.”