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Minister Wary Of Abuja-Kaduna-train Resumption, Military, Police mum

…Defence Headquarters employed negotiation, non-kinetic operations – Source

Mu’azu Sambo

THE spokespersons for the Defence, Army, Air Force, Navy, and Force Headquarters have refused to comment on the issue of ensuring security across rail lines in the country, especially that of the Abuja-Kaduna rail track, following the release of the 23 remaining kidnap victims from the March 28 terrorists attack, when contacted by our correspondent on Friday.

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However, a military source at the Defence Headquarters confirmed to our correspondent that some form of negotiation and kinetic operations took place between the Federal Government and the abductors leading to the release of the abductees.

He, however, urged citizens to not bother about the details of backdoor events leading to the release of the last 23 victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.

The source said, “It is true that there was some backdoor negotiation, however, I don’t think the details should be an issue for now. The most important thing is that these people have been held hostage for six months plus and the Defence Headquarters in collaboration with other security agencies in a committee that was set up by the President, has been able to secure their release.

“In the course of operations, there are what we call kinetic and non-kinetic operations, and this one was that of non-kinetic operations that were conducted to see that these people are released. However, at an appropriate time, the details will be given.”

The Minister for Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, during a press briefing with journalists in Abuja on Friday, noted that he was unsure of the exact date for the resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna train service, this was as he stated that the ministry would have to put security measures in place to ensure that a repeat of the March 28 attack would not take place, before resuming the Abuja-Kaduna rail service.

“There is a committee made up of some retired military generals and some retired public officials of high-ranking status who assisted the military and security agencies throughout the process of securing the release of these former hostages. Categorically, this government does not support and approve of ransom payment, no kobo was paid in exchange for the release of these 23 hostages and the others as well.”

Speaking on resuming the train service, he said, “Instead of putting the lives of Nigerians at risk, we will rather stop the rail service, we could not also resume in all honesty knowing the kind of trauma the victims and their families were going through.

“We have a long and short-term plan. Now I can tell you that we are going to resume very soon, but in order to resume the railway service, we have to put measures in place to ensure that going forward such an incident will never happen in this country.”

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