As terrorists torture Abuja-Kaduna train hostages 

‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, David Arin, Tayo Busayo

DAILY COURIER – There was an outrage on Sunday over perceived insensitive comment by presidency that Buhari has done everything to win terror war minutes after videos of tortuous flogging of some passengers abducted from the Kaduna-Abuja surfaced online.

In the viral video posted on social media, the hoodlums were seen whipping the male victims who wailed in pain as their female counterparts watched helplessly in horror and fear.

The 10 minutes, 51 seconds video which was captured on a mobile phone showed a leader of the abducted passengers soliciting the assistance of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and other members of the international community.

The terrorists also threatened to kidnap President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.

The Presidency, on Sunday, reacted to the trending video on social media, maintaining that the war against terrorism requires public participation for success.

Reacting to the terrorists, the Presidency, in a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said Buhari, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, has done everything to fight the war and is only waiting for the Armed Forces to deliver victory to Nigerians.

While it tasked the general public to help security forces with needed support, the Presidency also charged the mainstream media to help the administration to curb the abusive exploitation of the social media by terrorists.

“The Presidency, in the meantime, wishes to reassure the public that the President has done all, and even more than what is expected of him as Commander-in-Chief by way of morale, material and equipment support to the military and expects nothing short of good results in the immediate.

“Terrorist activity using propaganda and the use of violence to force governments to accept or submit to political demands is not new all over world.

“The country’s security and defense forces are not clueless or helpless. They have their plans and ways of doing things which they will not display in the media.

“The dilemmas in dealing with the specific case of train terrorists are manifold: punitive action like the popular call for carpet bombing of the known locations may assuage the desire of an angry public for revenge, but what about the hostages? They have committed no offense. All they did was to board a train.

“It suffices to say that the security forces are not relenting. They are acutely aware of their duties, responsibilities and what the nation expects of them. Whenever they embark upon those actions, they expect that the public should provide them with the needed support.

“Terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought by all actors- the military, the civilian population and the communication service providers. This is the only way safe havens of terrorists are eliminated in every part of the world.

“To help the nation against ongoing situation, the media must increase their support for the fight against the exploitation of the internet and social media for terrorist purposes,” the statement reads.

Outrage over presidency’s comment

The Coordinator, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Onwubiko, dismissed the position of the presidency as been insensitive and noted that it is obvious that this government does not have what it takes to solve the security issue.

The executive director, Security for All Nigerians, Tosin Badaki, blamed the Federal Government for the worsening insecurity, he contended that the international community must come to the aid of the remaining abductees before it is too late.

A family member, whose cousin was among those flogged in the video, Alhassan Bello, said the family have been mourning since they saw the video and pleaded with the federal government to meet the demands of the terrorists before they make good their threats.

Bello stated, “I and the family have been thrown in mourning after seeing that video. We are helpless, all our efforts to raise or borrow the ransom have been unfruitful. This video and the reaction by the president shows that the worst is yet to come.

The Spokesman of the Coalition for the Northern Groups, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, urged Nigerians to rise up and defend themselves, noting with regret that the terrorists are exploiting the failure of the government to protect Nigerians.

Abdul’aziz said, “In the face of the latest development, Nigerians would be right to resort to self-protection because obviously the bandits and insurgents have sensed a huge vacuum in the capacity and political will to challenge them.’’