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Minister: No ransom paid for recently-freed train passengers

Minister: No ransom paid for recently-freed train passengers
October 07
20:20 2022

Mua’zu Sambo, minister of transportation, said the federal government did not pay ransom to secure the release of the remaining abductees linked to the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.

On March 28, a Kaduna-bound train was attacked by terrorists, resulting in the killings of some passengers, while 61 persons were said to have been kidnapped.

After several batches of persons released over the past months, on Wednesday, the federal government announced the rescue of the remaining passengers who were still in captivity. 

Speaking with journalists on Friday, the minister said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has zero tolerance for ransom payment.

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He added that a committee made up of retired generals and retired public officers of high ranking assisted the military throughout the process of securing the release of the abductees.

“In matters that involve national security and intelligence, it is not appropriate to review exactly what measures have been taken in order to secure release of hostages of this nature,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“It is the position of this government that under no circumstances should there be collateral damage.

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“I want to state categorically that because this government does not support and approve of ransom payment, no kobo was paid in exchange for the release of these 23 hostages; indeed for the other ones as well.”

On the resumption of the railway service, Sambo said plans are underway to do so but there are measures that need to be put in place to prevent a repetition of the incident.

“We have a short term and long term plan. The short term measures will be put in place very quickly to enable rail services commence,” he said.

“And beyond a period of three months, we would have put in place a sustainable plan that would ensure that our rail lines are safe and secure and people can travel on them with their minds and hearts assured of safety.”

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