President Muhammadu Buhari met with representatives of victims of the Abuja-Kaduna Train abduction yesterday, in Abuja, assuring them that the Federal Government is doing everything within its powers to ensure the safe return of the surviving captives.
Foreclosing the deployment of lethal military force to secure their release, Buhari promised that security agents would take the fight to the t#rrorists.
“There is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country. Each of them will be combed, pursued, and spoken to in the language that they understand,” he explained.
Condoling the families of the victims and those who lost their loved ones, the President said since the “terrible and cowardly attack by the criminal elements” on March 28, 2022, the nation joined them to endure a period of difficulty and emotional pains.
The President informed representatives of the families that immediately after the incident, several actions had been taken by the government to bring succor to the affected families and prevent a repetition.
His words: “I have been informed that at the last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the k#dnappers, and we determine to work towards returning them to their families.
“It is understandable that emotions typically run high. We have received several suggestions about the deployment of lethal military force in extracting those still being held in captivity. This option has indeed been considered and evaluated.
“However, the condition to guarantee a successful outcome and minimize potential collateral damage could not be assured and, therefore, that course of action had to be reluctantly discarded. My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt,” he said.
On his recent instruction to security and law enforcement agencies to bring an end to inhumane action against innocent Nigerians, the President said: “Judging by the available reports to me and news emerging in the last few days, I will say they have heard this instruction and are responding appropriately. You must have heard about the number of terrorists neutralized by the military, and several hostages freed. These efforts will not stop or reduce.”
The President used the occasion to applaud the bravery of the police, who were onboard the train on that fateful day.
“It is clear that their actions saved many lives and by making the ultimate sacrifice, they must be recognized for their bravery,” he said.
The new Minister of Transportation, Jaji Sambo, said in the first week of his resumption in the ministry, he met with the relatives of the victims of the train attack, updating them on the government’s efforts to ensure the safe return of their loved ones.
A representative of the victims’ families, Sabiu Mohammed, appealed to the Federal Government to assist the families in the release of their loved ones still in captivity.