January 12, 2023

Edo: group cautions authorities on contradictory figures of train kidnapped victims

Abuja-Kaduna train

give reasons why family members of victims are evasive

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY – AN Edo State based group, Concerned Edo Citizens Forum (CECF) has cautioned government and security agencies on the contradictory figures of the number of persons still with kidnappers that stormed the Igueben train station last Saturday and went away with many people.

   Initial reports indicated that 31 people were abducted on the day of the incident and that so far seven of them have regained their freedom but the Edo state government through its Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare on Wednesday said the latest intelligence report showed that 20 people were abducted on that day out of which seven are now free.

   Reacting to the development in Benin City on Thursday, Convener of CECF, Roy Oribhabor while urging government to ensure that all the victims were released also said the reason why many of the family members were evasive was their claim that “They are acting on security agencies directive not to talk to people and the media about so their safety would not be jeopardized.”

   Oribhabor told Vanguard on Thursday that “We are calling on the kidnappers to release those in their captives unhurt, it is an appeal. We are told there are pregnant women there and children too, there are also old people there so we are bothered and we are calling for their release.

   “Government should do everything within their reach to make sure that these people are released unhurt. We condemn the action but the government should ensure their release.”

  On the actual number of those kidnapped, he said “In this part of the world, we are strangers to data, we don’t have data in Nigeria therefore we tend to work with anything available. As far as I am concerned, until those persons are rescued we cannot know how many people have been kidnaped because we were told there are some persons who went there to go and board and they have not registered, there are some people who we were told escorted their loved ones who are travelling because after the yuletide some people are yet to return to their base and were just going back to their bases, they were kidnapped so in terms of figure we cannot be so sure but what matters in this regard is that let government do everything within their power to release them.

   “Inasmuch as we are impressed by the prompt response of government and security agencies, they should do more to release them because the longer they stay there in the forest or unknown location the worse the situation is so we are begging the government to secure their release because it is the responsibility of government to ensure their safety. We are not calling only on the Edo state government; we are calling on the federal government, President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure their release.”