Family members of passengers kidnapped during the recent attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train have issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the federal government to ensure the safe rescue of the abductees.
The ultimatum was issued on Monday at the end of a meeting of the family members in Kaduna.
The development comes hours after a video of the abductees appealing to the federal government for help surfaced on social media.
Speaking on behalf of other family members, Abdulfatai Jimoh said they were yet to determine the current status of the abducted passengers, who have been missing since March 28 — the day of the attack.
“The kidnappers said we should be ready that they are going to contact us. We have not had any communication with them since then,” he said.
“Since this incident happened, we expected that by now, the government, the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the federal ministry of transportation are supposed to have identified relatives of the victims to tell us what efforts they are making or not to rescue our loved ones unhurt.
“In fact, the primary duty of any government is to protect the lives and property of citizens. We believe our government can do it and it’s capable of doing it.
“Until a few days ago, we had been expecting telephone calls from the abductors because that’s what they promised us. But when we saw the video, they made it very clear that they want to discuss with the government; that they have something with the government.
“We don’t know what they want from the government. But it is now an opportunity and a window for the government to rescue our loved ones by opening channels of communication with them. This is not out of place. It is done anywhere in the world.
“This, we know our government can do and we are appealing to them to do it. We don’t know what is between them but it is something that can be resolved in the interest of the lives of Nigerian citizens. Life is very sacred — even if it is one life that’s involved.
“We are appealing to them to open a channel of discussion with the bandits and get our loved ones out as quickly as possible. We have been in serious anguish over the past 15 days. Many of us have not been sleeping. We are like living corpses.
“We have decided collectively that we are giving the government 72 hours to do everything that’s necessary to rescue our loved ones.”