- Says Gov Buni plays crucial role
By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Lead negotiator and Media consultant to Sheikh Gumi,Malam Tukur Mamu has reunited the 7 victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack on Saturday night with their respective families , calling on Nigerians to thank Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State for the crucial role he played that led to the freedom of the captives.
Vanguard was told that although the military authorities wanted to keep the freed victims in their care, the victims vehemently disagreed and followed Mamu to his Kaduna office where they were welcomed by anxious and excited family members.
It was tears of joy for those who sighted their loved ones after over a hundred days of harrowing experience in the terrorists enclave,while those whose relations were still held captive cried of disappointment and deep sorrow.
Malam Tukur Mamu , the Dan-Iyan Fika and publisher of the Kaduna based DESERT HERALD Newspaper , said efforts by the military to take over the rescued victims after they were released was resisted by them.
“They accused government of putting their lives in danger and unnecessarily delaying their release and insisted on getting to their families immediately to be able to have urgent medical attention in view of their health condition,” he said
He explained that from the military checkpoint that led to the remote location where the captives were successfully secured , was more than 50 kilometers without access road.
He said after retrieving the victims, the soldiers had provided security cover that brought them back to Kaduna.
A son to the Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum-NEF, Sadiq Ango Abdullahi who was among the freed victims, said
“the soldiers were considerable enough to hand us over to Tukur Mamu after we insisted that we will not go with them. The most difficult job has been done by him Alhamdulillah( thanks to Allah). We were all taken to his office and even before then he has contacted all our family members to come and pick us.”
“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.”
Sadiq Ango who could not hold his tears, thanked Allah and Mamu for the sacrifice and efforts.
According to him, the Federal Government should intensify efforts to ensure that the remaining passengers are rescued as soon as possible because of their deteriorating health condition.
According to Tukur Mamu, “behind the scene the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni has done so much to ensure the success of mission.”
“Sincerely, I have so much respect for Gov Buni. From the information I have there is no single Yobe citizen left in that forest but that Governor demonstrated uncommon concern on this issue. He has been in touch with me throughout, monitoring development and even reaching out to those concerned whenever there is the need to do so.”
” Governor Buni gave lots of support. This is a Governor from the North East, far from the North West where we have this crisis. He told me not to publicise his efforts but I have to,” said Mamu.
He reiterated that they only used the power of dialogue and persuasion during the negotiation, pointing out that no money exchanged hands which goes to show that engaging these terrorists through non kinetic approach as Sheikh Gumi was advocating,could be the panacea to a peaceful end of this imbroglio.