Seven of the passengers abducted from a Kaduna-bound train were on Saturday set free by the terrorists, according to Kaduna-based publisher, Mal Tukur Mamu.
Mamu, who had earlier negotiated the release of 11 passengers, disclosed that the terrorists have released seven more victims.
The released hostages were identified as Muhammad Daiyabu Paki, Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule, Sadiq Ango Abdullahi, Aliyu Usman and Muhammad Abuzar Afzal, a Pakistani.
Mamu said, “I want to assure the nation that everything that was achieved today was singlehandedly initiated and arranged by me with the full support and prayers of my principal, Sheikh Gumi.”
“That is why I keep emphasising that government has the power to end the agony of this innocent victims in one day. This is just one individual that sacrificed his life and even integrity. There is no military solution to the current security debacle in Nigeria. When you sincerely engage these guys, even though wicked with misguided religious beliefs, they are listening. I have sufficient evidence to prove that they do listen. It is this power of engagement and sincerity that resulted to the release of this seven victims.
“In whatever I do, I don’t need or require any reward from anybody but from Allah and I hope the nation we sacrificed our lives for will recognise us.”
The negotiator added that the freed victims had been handed over to the military and were currently on their way to Kaduna.
He said, “The location they (abductors) gave is remote, sensitive and risky. There was a military checkpoint before penetrating the forest. My team was stopped by the soldiers but when they told the military our mission they contacted the GOC and he immediately gave approval for them to proceed.
“And after the victims were successfully evacuated, travelling through over 40 kilometers in the forest, they were given a military escort back to Kaduna at the checkpoint.”