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Some security experts have called on the Federal Government to act fast and rescue the kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna train passengers in order ensure the safety of the victims.

The experts cautioned that the abductors might harm their captives out of anger and frustration.

This call came on the heels of a report by Tuku Mamu, a negotiator and media consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Shiekh Ahmad Gumi, who disclosed that one Mohammed Al’Amin, who is one of the remaining 50 abductees, had been shot by the terrorists.

Mamu, who said the incident occurred during a “friendly exchange of fire in the forest among the abductors that are guarding the victims, which is aimed at preventing them (victims) from possible escape”, also noted that the victim was critically injured and required medical attention.

According to Mamu, who was quoted in the latest edition of the Kaduna-based newspaper, Desert Herald, obtained by The PUNCH on Wednesday, the shooting of one of the hostages may have been done intentionally for the “purpose of sending a message.”

He also expressed concern that there had been constant communication but the government had yet to make a decision, adding that the government must take “painful decisions to secure the innocent victims alive.”

Reacting to this, a Fellow of the International Institute for Professional Security, Jackson Lekan-Ojo, told the families of the abductees to hold the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), responsible should anything happen to their loved ones.

He also stated that the government needed to make sure that none of those abductees were killed because of their attitude to rescue these victims.

Speaking to Saturday PUNCH, Lekan-Ojo said, “All Nigerians should hold the Federal Government responsible for their own safety and security. They have failed woefully. The abductees have been there now for a while and the abductors are releasing them in batches.

“Are they being rescued? No. Are they being paid to be released? We don’t know and cannot tell. They have left the family of those people who were kidnapped to carter for themselves. Whosoever that the family cannot afford (to pay for his release) is allowed to remain there and rot. This is not a good stance at all.

“The terrorists want to show Nigerians that they are very serious; that is why they used one person as an example. If nothing is done, they may begin to kill the abductees to send a message to the government.

“The Federal Government must act now; else it may be too late. This was what happened at Greenfield School in Kaduna where they used two girls as specimens to show the government how brutal they could be. If the government keeps dilly-dallying, we may have another thing coming for us.”

Lekan-Ojo also asked the Minister of Digital Communication, Mr Isa Pantami, to explain to Nigerians why the terrorists had not been tracked despite the NIN-SIM process which all Nigerians were forced to embrace.

“Are they trying to say these people are not Nigerians? I keep wondering how they are able to continue these crimes when they now have the National Identity Number which is supposed to be used to track these people down and see where the signals are coming from. On whose names were the SIMs registered?

“We have the National Communication Commission, the Ministry of Digital Communication, the Director of State Security, the National Intelligence Agency, the Defence Intelligent Agency and others and we still cannot track the source of the videos they are sending?

“Who is going to do this? This shows that the government does not have the interest to rescue these abductees,” he added.

Another security expert, Nnamdi Anekwe-Chieve, said he was surprised that after the instruction by the government to rescue these abductees with all state resources, they were still been held captive.

“It is not like they don’t know the location of these people. So, we tried to carry out a counter-action in terms of making attempts to rescue these kidnap victims. We are not even sure if they have met the request of these people and they are asking for more. So, the government has to use all the elements of power to free these hostages.

“I don’t think the FG has done enough in this respect. They need to get additional resources of the state to free the hostages, not just the Kaduna train victims but all hostages elsewhere before the abductors start behaving funny,” Anekwe-Chieve, noted.

The Director-General, International Institute of Professional Security, Dr Tony Ofoegbu, on his part, said it was almost too late for the Federal Government.

According to him, the government was not being defensive, not proactive, and has put no premium on human lives.

“The normal thing was that immediately that abduction happened, the government is supposed to surround that place and restrict access to the terrorists’ supplies to goods and services. Their group members will certainly come out to buy food and medication.”

PUNCH

About Post Author

Jimson Jaat Taofik

Jimoh Taofik Adekunle (Jimson Jaat Taofik) is a trained journalist, blogger, freelancer, author and researcher. He is a graduate student of The Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State.
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