Happening Now: Buhari meets relatives of abducted train passengers, assures safe return


Families of abducted passengers on the Abuja- Kaduna-bound train has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything possible to rescue those still in terrorist captivity as they cannot raise the huge amount of money  demanded as ransom for their freedom.

They made the appeal, yesterday, after meeting with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

Sabiu Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the families said they were desirous of seeing their love ones return alive.

“We do not have the money that they (kidnappers) are demanding. Please, Mr President, we know you are doing your best…please, please we want to see our loved ones,’’ he said.

President Buhari assured the families that the remaining victims would be safely returned to their families.

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He said he had rejected the option of using lethal force in rescuing victims of the train attack as it would defeat the primary objective of getting all of them out safely.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as condoling with the families and those who lost loved ones in the attack.

He said since the “terrible and cowardly attack by the criminal elements” on March 28, the nation had joined them to endure a period of difficulty and emotional pains.

“I have been informed that at last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the kidnappers, and our determination is to work towards returning these 31 people to their families. It is understandable that emotions typically run high, we have received several suggestions about the deployment of lethal military force in extracting those still being held in captivity. This option has indeed been considered and evaluated.

“However, the condition to guarantee a successful outcome and minimise potential collateral damage could not be assured and therefore that course of action had to be reluctantly discarded. My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt,” he said.

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