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TheCable

Kaduna train attack: Terrorists contact families of abducted passengers, demand ransom

Kaduna train attack: Terrorists contact families of abducted passengers, demand ransom
April 07
08:59 2022

Several families of passengers kidnapped during the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train have been contacted by their abductors.

TheCable understands that the terrorists have reached out to make demands of various amounts as ransom to facilitate the release of their captors.

Members of the affected families spoke with TheCable on the strict condition of anonymity to avoid endangering their relatives who are still in captivity.

The ransom demanded by the kidnappers ranges from N5 million to N100 million, depending on the pedigree of the victims, and negotiating power.

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“After the attack, my family was worried about the safety of my in-law who was on the train,” a relative of a kidnapped victim told TheCable.

“We were not sure if she made it out alive, was killed or was abducted. We had no information on her situation for the first few days after the attack.

“The kidnappers later reached out to us to make their demands.”

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Another affected person told TheCable that although the abductors of his family member demanded an exorbitant amount, the relatives were relieved to learn that the victim was still alive.

Most of the families contacted by the terrorists have been warned against involving security agencies in the situation.

Insiders who spoke to TheCable say the families have begun the process of raising funds to pay the kidnappers and ensure the release of their loved ones.

Alwan Hassan, acting managing director/chief executive officer of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), who was also abducted during the attack regained his freedom on Wednesday.

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Asma Alwan, his daughter, confirmed to TheCable that he had been freed, but she provided no specific details on the circumstances surrounding his release.

146 PASSENGERS UNACCOUNTED FOR

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said 146 passengers aboard the train cannot be reached through their given telephone numbers.

According to the NRC, 22 passengers are missing while the safety of 186 passengers has been confirmed.

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Giving an update on Sunday, Fidet Okhiria, NRC managing director, had said “51 phone numbers on the manifest are either switched off or not reachable since Tuesday morning”.

He said 35 phone numbers “are ringing but no response from the other end” while 60 phone numbers, when called, are said to be non-existent.

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The NRC had announced the suspension of the Abuja-Kaduna railway operation following the attack on March 28.

TheCable had reported that Musa-Lawal Ozigi, TUC secretary-general; Akin Akinsola, TUC Kwara chairman; and Chinelo Nwando Megafu, a dental surgeon, were among those who died in the attack.

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