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Remaining March railway attack captives freed

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By Timothy Akintola

Heightened state of insecurity in Nigeria continually raise concerns.

The menace of Insecurity has spread across numerous regions, affecting the lives and properties of most citizens. The country continues to be troubled by a spiral surge in terrorism, cybercrimes, kidnappings and Banditry amongst other extrajudicial killings that jeopardizes the lives and properties of Nigeria’s citizens and with the recurrent bandits’ attacks, the country has become an unsafe haven for its citizens. Per recent statistics, the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) placed Nigeria as the third most insecure country in the world, only behind Iran and Afghanistan and this indicates how this crisis has eaten deep into the country’s Security system.

On March 28, 2022, a train which was on route to Abuja from Kaduna was attacked in Katari which halted the railway operations around that route. While numerous reports of death cases, families also had to raise ransoms independently to facilitate the release of some kidnapped victims. The government also met immense criticism after reports of negotiations with the bandits. However, these bandits are reported to have freed the remaining 23 of the 60 victims who had been held hostage since the train attack, about six months ago, after their continued Negotiation with the federal government.

Victims’ relatives heavily condemn the increased state of insecurity.

Though the relatives of the victims were elated to have their loved ones back with them after over 180 days of being separated. They also strongly condemned the heightened state of insecurity in the country. Usman Yusuf, the secretary of the government formed seven-member committee who were responsible for the negotiation of their release, revealed that the federal ministry of transportation in collaboration with security agents were successful in the release of the kidnap victims.

Recall that the abduction occurred at a period when there was a recurring security crisis from the bandits’ attack on the presidential convoy and other attacks on numerous communities and thus, the government was met with immense criticism both from the local and interns’ scenes. The release has however created an array of hope, as many have welcomed it. President Buhari, on twitter, indicated his delight at the news of their release, thanking the security agents for all the efforts pumped into facilitating their release.

Authorities promise to release victims after medical examinations.

Idayat Yusuf, whose sisters were victims of the abduction, expressed her joy for the release of her sisters. She noted that this was the best news she’s received. Thanking God for making this horror come to an end after six months, she declared her happiness as to her sisters not dying in captivity. Prior, reports suggested that President Buhari had opposed the deployment of security personnel to search for the abductees, citing that the abductees might be caught up in the crossfire.

Authorities however promised to release the victims to their families immediately after being medically examined. One of the abductees who had been released earlier in August, Jesse John also aired his happiness as to the release of the other abductees. Describing his state of mind in regard to the news, he noted that he had posted on his Social Media accounts for the first time since his release, as he had promised not to post anything until others had been released.

Government must further strengthen security to avoid future abductions.

The northwest and central regions of the country have been intensely subjected to recurring cases of kidnappings over the last two years and while the authorities have stepped up their efforts in curbing this issue by intensifying their attacks which have been largely successful, Yusuf noted that the government must further strengthen the security system to avoid future abductions and other menacing acts by the perpetrators. He said that such attacks were ridiculous in a sovereign state with military presence.


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