‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
Daily Courier – The attackers of the Kaduna- Abuja train have demanded the release of their children in the custody of the federal government before they can begin negotiation for the release of abducted passengers still in captivity.
The terrorists who made their demand known when they reached out to the Kaduna based Publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper, Alhaji Tukur Mamu, said they were not interested in money as ransom.
It could be recalled that the terrorists attacked the train on March 28, killing nine passengers and abducting 62 others. They later released two of the victims.
One of the terrorists simply identified as Abu Barra told the publisher that their children, among them a year-old boy, were being held at an orphanage home in Yola, Adamawa State capital. He said the children about eight of them were seized from their mothers at Nasarawa State before being taken to Yola by government agents. He explained that “We discussed with them (FG) and we told them that our children are in their custody which we demanded their release and among them is a year old boy. We told them that we can only open up negotiation with them if the children are released.
“The children’s names are Abdulrahman, Bilkisu, Usman, Ibrahim and Juwairiyyah and others. They were forcefully taken from their mothers 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,” Barra was quoted as saying.
Barra reportedly told Mamu that they only reached out to him because they wanted him to pass their message to the authorities concerned. He emphasised that others had offered millions of naira to them as ransom to release them but they told them it was not about money.