In recent years, there has been unprecedented upsurge in the level of insecurity in Nigeria and this has reached an alarming rate which obviously needs a whole-of-society approach in order to stem the rising tides.
Nigeria experienced a novel form of terror attack in October 2021 when bandit-terrorists used explosive devices and bombed the Abuja-Kaduna rail tracks. The passengers were fortunate to escape unhurt as the driver was able to manoeuvre and find his way to a nearby station. This worrisome development forced the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), to suspend services for a few days, thereby allowing it to fix the damaged rail tracks.
Upon service restoration, movement of people between the two cities continued smoothly without any hitches, until March 28 2022, when they again attacked a Abuja-Kaduna bound train with over 360 passengers onboard. Just like before, they used explosive devices, bombed the rail tracks which forced the derailment of the train.
Unlike before, passengers were not fortunate to have escaped the terror attack as reports from multiple sources indicated that about eight people were murdered in cold blood while 26 sustained various degrees of injuries due to either stampede or gun shots.
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Adding salt to the injury was how these terrorists abducted almost 68 passengers from that train.
These captives are still being held at the bandit-terrorists’ den with a slim hope of ever regaining freedom.
The demographic of these victims cut across to include vulnerable children and women, males including those with older ages and ailing conditions. Alas, one pregnant woman has had to even deliver of a baby girl in that terrorists’ enclave under terrible and despicable condition that can easily consume her life.
It was learnt that negotiations with the terrorists were progressing but the government, it was gathered, had the option to capitulate to the gunmen’ demands or launch an all-out attack which is considered high risk. This is because, the terrorists will not hesitate to eliminate the victims in their custody the moment they come under attack. This act of using humans as a shield by criminals has been making rescue operations by the security forces difficult in Nigeria.
Nonetheless, the time is long overdue for these captives and other victims being currently languishing in terrorists den to regain freedom. The time is now!
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi,
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