By Adeniyi Onaara
The terrorists stated that they do not require money.
Terrorists who attacked an Abuja-bound train in March have threatened to kill kidnapped people in their possession if the government refuses to free their children, who are supposedly being held at a Yola orphanage.
The terrorists threatened to murder the abducted passengers if their demands were not met within seven days.
Terrorist leaders made the requests in a phone chat with Malam Tukur Mamu, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi’s spokesperson.
In the phone discussion, Abu Bara, who spoke on behalf of the terrorists, told Mamu that the Federal Government had suspended the train operation because of their threats.
He said, “The government suspended the resumption of the train service indefinitely because of our threats and we repeat, if our conditions are not met, the resumption of the train service is to the detriment of the government and the passengers.
“We don’t need money. We have a good reason for doing what we did, until our demands are met none of the victims will come out alive even if it means we all die with them. They are well taken care of as you can see from the pictures we sent to you via WhatsApp but we assure you that this will not continue.
“We choose you (Tukur Mamu) to convey this important message to the government, the families of the victims and Nigerians in general because we believe you won’t alter our message and we have seen you severally with Sheikh Gumi in the forest, therefore, we recognized the fearlessness in you”.
Bara said anything can happen to the hostages, saying it’s been two months since their abduction.
He further explained that the passengers were abducted in retaliation for the arrest and detention of their children by the security agencies.
“Our children numbering about 8 between the ages of one to seven years are currently being held at an orphanage in Jimeta, Adamawa State under the supervision of the Nigerian Army.
“The names of our children are; Abdulrahman, Bilkisu, Usman, Ibrahim and Juwairiyyah. They were forcefully taken from our wives in Nasarawa and taken to the orphanage in Yola.
“For any continued discussion on the release of these passengers and a safe resumption of the train service, our children must be released unconditionally. Only then we will release some of the abducted victims, especially the women while other passengers will be released on a prisoner exchange with some of our arrested comrades by the government,” Bara said.
Berra also threatened that, if after seven days the FG failed to respond to their demands, they would stop feeding the victims and would start slaughtering them one after the other.
“If the government decided not to respond, so be it. We are warning Nigerians, especially those that are patronizing the train, that if this matter is not resolved peacefully, the day they decided to attack us or do anything funny, passengers or commuters should forget to use the train or follow the Abuja-Kaduna road because we will be consistent and they can’t stop us. We believe that you will deliver this message as it is”, he said.
Reacting, Mamu said he understood the plight of the Federal Government in resolving the abduction issue, adding that every responsible government would look into saving innocent passengers’ lives and makes painful promises where necessary.