The terrorists that attacked the AK-9 Abuja-Kaduna train passengers on March 28, have released another seven hostages, including a family of six and a woman.
The identities of the released family of six are Abdubakar Idris Garba, his wife, Maryam Abubakar Bobo, and their eldest son, Ibrahim Abubakar Garba, who’s 10 years old.
Others include Fatima Abubakar Garba (7), Imran Abubakar Garba (5), and youngest Zainab Abubakar Garba, who is only one and half years old.
Abubakar Idris Garba, a staff of the National Assembly Service Commission, is the son of a former Military Administrator of Kano and Benue States.
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.
Although Tukur Mamu, Publisher of Kaduna-based Desert Herald and Media Consultant to a controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, withdrew as one of the negotiators, he confirmed the release of the seven hostages to journalists in Kaduna.
Mamu said the seven were released following the intervention of his principal, Gumi.
According to a statement by Mamu, disturbed by the flogging of the hostages, Gumi for the first time in four months of the abduction saga, reached out to the terrorists with the message of Allah, “to consider the release of the poor children and their innocent parents.”
He said throughout their captivity in the hands of the terrorists neither the National Assembly Commission nor the members of the National Assembly intervened for the staff of the commission and his family.
Mamu, however, noted that with the efforts of Sheikh Gumi and the support of a serving Senator from the North, the family of six regained their freedom.
The statement read partly, “Disturbed by the gory videos images of four teenage children belonging to the same family he saw in the last video released by the attackers of the AK9 Train, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi for the first since the abduction of the innocent passengers of that train over four months ago, has reached out to the abductors through his Media Consultant, sent Allah’s messages to them and consistently pleaded with them to consider the release of the poor children and their innocent parents.
“It was learnt that the health condition of two of the teenage children has deteriorated since the flogging incidence that affected their helpless father. A total of additional seven hostages were therefore released on Wednesday.
“The husband of the four kids is a staff of the National Assembly Commission. There was no intervention from the Commission or NASS on his behalf since the travails began.
“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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, no mention of whether ransom was paid or not for the release of their hostages. The terrorists had demanded N100m per each victim before they would be released, which the victims released so far had allegedly paid.
The terrorists have continued to release the hostages who had spent more than four months in captivity.
With the release of the fifth batch of seven hostages on Wednesday, 28 victims are still in the custody of the terrorists, having set free 33 hostages.
The terrorists had earlier released 11 victims in the first batch, seven victims in the second, three in the third, five victims in the fourth, and seven hostages released in the fifth.
On 28 March 2022, terrorists planted explosives devices along the rail track. When the Abuja-Kaduna bound AK-9 passenger train approached the point, the device exploded, causing the train to derail, leading to the death of eight passengers. (PUNCH)