The Federal Government has assured Nigerians, especially relatives of kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna train attack victims, that negotiation with bandits is ongoing to ensure their safe return.
Mr. Garba Shehu, Special Assistant to President Muahmmadu Buhari on Media and publicity, disclosed this while featuring on Channels TV’s “Politics Today”, on Friday.
Kidnappers had attacked the train, abducted scores, after killing nine, while 26 others were injured.
Although the train service was to resume on May 23, 2022, after repair to the damaged tracks and other elements have been completed, it has been postponed indefinitely
According to Shehu, the position of the government had been restated over time that the success of any operation will be determined by the number of recoveries of human beings alive and well, not the return of dead bodies.
He said the Federal Government was aware that there had been pressure from the family members of those who have been taken captive, adding that, “of course this is expected. This acts as a pressure on one of the people involved in the discussion with the terrorists to ensure a safe release of those that have been held.”
He said the government had spoken about the fact that negotiations were ongoing, “although a bit difficult, but we hope that we return to normalcy.”
Speaking on what the government is doing to safeguard rail tracks in the country, Shehu said the matter was with the security agencies.
He said there was an improvement in security, adding that the air surveillance had been announced by the former minister of transportation.
He added that the President had okayed electronic monitoring and surveillance and would ensure that there was tracking of far and near of the rail track, not only on Kaduna-Abuja, but Ibadan-Lagos track.