MURDEROUS hoodlums who attacked the Kaduna-Abuja train last month are demanding the release of 16 of their top commanders in exchange for over 100 innocent passengers abducted from the derailed train on March 28.
Dependable security sources said the bandits carried out the violent attack on the train just to abduct passengers who could be used to bargain for the release of their commanders and sponsors, who are currently in detention. Apparently, the arrest of these commanders had severely hampered the deadly activities of the bandits who are collaborating with Boko Haram terrorists to unleash mayhem across the country.
After their recent attack on the Kaduna train, security agencies reported that eight bodies were recovered and 26 persons were injured. Also, the Nigerian Railway Corporation said it was unable to establish contact with 163 passengers and seven crew members who were aboard the train.
Multiple sources explained that the bandits in their ongoing negotiations with the federal government were demanding a prisoner exchange. last week, the hoodlums released one of their hostages, Alwan Hassan, the managing director of the Bank of Agriculture, claiming they did so due to his age.
In a video showing the victim in their midst, the gunmen said the government knew what they wanted and threatened to kill the remaining hostages if their demands were not met. Last Sunday, the terrorists released another video where some of the captives were seen calling on the government to come to their rescue.
One senior official said: “The bandits have made contact with the government but the issue now involves Interpol because they have international collaborators. Security operatives are working to identify their connection to Boko Haram.
“The bandits are after their people who are in custody as they are demanding the release of 16 sponsors and commanders in exchange for the abducted train passengers. That’s why they said in a video that the government knows what they want.
“We arrested some of their commanders and those sponsoring them in Dubai and Nigeria. We have about 16 commanders and sponsors in custody, so they are demanding their release because their sources of funding are declining. I hope the authorities would not release the commanders and sponsors to them because we are getting information on the bandits from the suspects.
“If they kill their hostages, they would not achieve what they are looking for. The fact is that they are being starved of funds and that is why they are making the threat and it is also the reason for the attack on the train. They attacked the train just to get government attention and negotiate the release of their commanders and sponsors.”
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