Abuja-Kaduna train

…Plead with FG to release terrorists’ children

By Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA- Exactly two months after a Kaduna-bound train was bombed by terrorists, leading to the death of nine persons and abduction of over a hundred persons; families of the abducted victims, Wednesday, called on the Buhari-led government to act urgently and rescue the victims unhurt.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, respective of the families said they decided to call on federal authorities to swing into action against the backdrop of a week ultimatum given by the terrorists for their demands to be met or the abductees would be killed.

Wailing uncontrollably and displaying different placards, all calling on government to act without further delay, the protesters said their fears could no longer be dismissed given that terrorists in the land have often carried out threats when their demands were not meant.

Matilda Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the families and read the text of the press conference said: “The past 59 days have been one of unprecedented agony. Although hopeful of seeing our loved ones again, yesterday (Tuesday) took the winds out of our sails. Whatever hope we have been holding unto, seems to be slipping through our fingers.

“We are a family. Nigeria is one big family, Africa is one big family, the entire world is a harmonious family having descended from The first Man and woman, Adam and Eve. We owe ourselves a brotherhood and we deserve a sisterhood.

“We might not share the same name, religion, tribe, nation, language or skin color but we share the exact composition that makes us all same, that is our humanity. No human is made different from the other. From conception to death, we all thread the same evolution. This message today is to appeal to our humanity towards other humans.

“Yesterday, we found out through the media of an ultimatum by the abductors of our loved ones to release their children who were held captive and separated from their mothers. These are toddlers from the report that we heard, kids between one to 11years. The scariest part of this ultimatum is the threat to life.

“What world is this? What manner of betrayal is this? Where is the humanity in this?
The whole world seems to have moved on but for us, we still live in 28th of March. The days might have gone by but we haven’t. And the world shouldn’t. This fight goes beyond the 60 plus people in captivity. It is an accountability, owed to us by the people meant to lead and govern us. It is breaking a promise made to serve and protect not just them, but us all.

“Every society is as good as the history it sets for future generations to look at. The children in captivity have had a major life shift whether we will admit it or not. Both the abductors and the abductees. These are our future tomorrow, and I ask you now “what do you think the future holds for them?

“Seven days until we are not able to say we have a system that works for the common man. Seven days, should we expect a funeral or a liberation? Seven days, for parent to either hug or mourn their children? Seven days for some wives to adorn themselves the title of widows and husbands to become widowers.

“Seven days, until children are called orphans.
Seven days, until insurgency and banditry wins. Seven days that is just like today.

“We are calling on Mr. President (President Muhammadu Buhari), the service chiefs, the head of security agencies, national and international human rights organizations, to rescue our families. They are your family too. There can be no negotiation without dialogue. Do not close the chapter on our story, it will forever change the course of history. Release their children let us have our family, and your family back. Do not turn a blind eye on our plight.”

They also called on Presidential hopeful to walk their talks saying “this is not a time to be selfish with your ideas and plans. Share them, make your campaign promises a campaign reality.”

It would be recalled that a fortnight ago, the families threatened to disrupt the planned resumption of services on the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor until those in captivity are released. The planned resumption has since been postponed indefinitely by the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC.


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