David Arin, Jos – Worried by the video images of four children belonging to same family he saw in the last video released by the attackers of the March 28th train attack, Sheikh Dr Ahmad Gumi reached out to the abductors through his media consultant, Tukur Mamu (Dan-Iyan Fika) and sent messages to them and consistently pleaded with them to consider the release of the poor children and their innocent parents. Among those released is a 60-year-old woman, Hajia Aisha Hassan, whose health was reportedly deteriorating.

It was gathered that the health condition of two of the children had deteriorated since the flogging incident that affected their hapless father, and a total of additional seven hostages were therefore released on Wednesday following Sheikh Gumi’s intervention.

According to Mamu who is the publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper in a confirmation statement he issued with accompanying pictures of the released victims, the husband of the mother of the four kids is a staff of the National Assembly Commission, adding that “There was no intervention from the Commission or NASS on his behalf since the travails begun over four months ago”.

“This is to confirm to the world that due to Sheikh Gumi’s efforts and with the support of a serving Senator from the North, (a God-fearing personality that doesn’t have any relationship with the hostages) who chose to remain anonymous that all the family of six have regained their freedom on Wednesday morning. Also released is a 60-year-old woman, one Hajia Aisha Hassan, who was said to have been released due to life threatening health challenges that deteriorated recently.

“The names of the six family members that were released are Abubakar Idris Garba who is the father of the four kids, his wife Maryama Abubakar Bobbo and their eldest son, Ibrahim Abubakar Garba who is 10 years old. Others include Fatima Abubakar Garba 7 years, Imran Abubakar Garba 5 years old and youngest Zainab Abubakar Garba who is only one and half years.

“The husband, Abubakar is the son of Maj Gen Idris Garba (rtd). Gen. Garba who is now bed ridden is an indigene of Niger State and was a former Military Administrator of Kano and Benue states during the administration of former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida,

“Sheikh Gumi had also prayed for the immediate release of the remaining victims and urged the government to intensify efforts towards achieving that. He said the delay in releasing the remaining victims is unnecessary and one that is achievable once the right approach has been taken”.

With the release of the seven victims now, 27 more hostages are still in the hands of the abductors.

Meanwhile, it is not clear whether any ransom whatsoever was paid to secure their release but it was gathered that except the 11 victims released without ransom payment, all other hostages freed were made possible with the payment of ransom that runs into millions.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State government has debunked a report alleging there was presence of bandits at Dumbi and Jaji along Zaria road, saying Kaduna-Zaria road is safe for travellers.

The commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement yesterday in Kaduna, said the fake news was an attempt to spread panic.

The commissioner while urging citizens to go about their normal activities advised them not to pay attention to the false report.

Aruwan said: “The attention of the Kaduna State Government has been drawn to a widely circulated message advising citizens not to enter or exit Zaria, alleging the presence of hundreds of bandits at Dumbi and Jaji along the route to Zaria.

The Kaduna State government wishes to firmly debunk that message, and urges citizens to disregard it completely.

It is an obvious attempt to spread panic.”

The statement added that “the Kaduna State Government assures all citizens and travelers that the Kaduna-Zaria route is safe for travel. Residents are urged to go about their normal activities and pay no attention to the false report.”