THE release of the remaining 23 victims of the Abuja – Kaduna train abduction by the Boko Haram Terrorists, BHT, on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, was cheering news to all Nigerians and people of goodwill.
They were abducted on March 28, 2022 when a Kaduna-bound train from Abuja was attacked. Eight passengers, including the Secretary General of the Trade Unions Congress, TUC, Musa Lawal-Ozigi; a young medical doctor, Chinelo Megafu and a budding politician, Aminu Mahmood, were among those killed.
About 160 passengers could not immediately be accounted for. But later, a group of terrorists announced that they had 62 of them in their den.
They have been releasing the victims piecemeal according to their ability to pay ransoms as brokered by Tukur Mamu, who is now in the custody of the Directorate of State Services, DSS. One of the most pathetic experiences they went through was a merciless beating the terrorists meted to them on live video, threatening to kill them if their demands were not met.
We commend the Federal Government and a combined team of the Armed Forces for being able to pull off this feat without loss of lives.
We note with delight that since he took over as Chief of Defence Staff, Lt-Gen. Lucky Irabor has shown, once again, what the Nigerian Armed Forces are capable of. Terrorists, especially BHT, Islamic State in West Africa, ISWA, and bandit- terrorists have been given a bloody nose. Though the road to Uhuru is still far, the sense of hopelessness that had crept into the hearts of the people (especially Abuja dwellers) in July this year has begun to ease off.
The difference has become very clear since Buhari finally yielded to public pressure to treat the bandits as the terrorists that they were. What even led to the president’s prolonged reluctance to act decisively is something Nigerians cannot understand.
When the Commander-in-Chief finally made up his mind and gave all the support the Armed Forces needed, the inter-services rivalries gave way to a united purpose, which is bringing all the positive results.
We urge the military to continue in the same vein until all the sources of insecurity in Nigeria are rooted out. This must include flushing out unknown gun men and cultists, and disarming killer herdsmen and the militias marauding indigenous communities and farmers. They are rated among the most murderous terrorists in the world. Their continued condonation by the Buhari regime is a disservice and betrayal of the people’s trust.
Before the train services resume, the Abuja- Kaduna route and other functional train routes must be secured with modern technology, the way it is done inore developed countries. Terrorists will never stop trying their luck.
We must never allow this experience to repeat itself.