THREE more passengers abducted by terrorists during the Abuja-Kaduna train attack have been released.
The abductees, said to comprise two males and a female, were released on Monday.
Unconfirmed reports identified one of the freed passengers as Hassan Usman, a lawyer.
Family sources reportedly said N100 million ransom was paid to the terrorists before Usman was released.
It was gathered that the terrorists released them at a location inside the forest along the Kaduna–Abuja highway before they were picked up by their relatives.
This brings the total number of abductees who have regained their freedom to 22. Those who are still in captivity remains are 40.
On March 28, gunmen blew up the Abuja-Kaduna rail track, killing and abducting scores of passengers, an action that constituted a major security breach of the nation’s rail sector.
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The Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC temporarily suspended activities, with President Muhammadu Buhari directing security agencies to rescue the victims.
The release of the three abductees is coming about 24 hours after the terrorists released a viral video where they were seen flogging the abducted passengers. They also threatened to abduct Buhari and Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
The presidency reacted to the threat hours after, accusing the insurgents of using propaganda to compel the government to yield to their demands.
In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said security forces are not helpless in stemming the tide of insecurity confronting the country.
“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,” the statement said.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.