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Bandits Release Another Video of Abducted Passengers

Bandits who carried out the attack on a Kaduna-bound train two weeks ago have released yet another video of some of the abducted passengers.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the bandits attacked the train on March 28 around the Katari area of Kaduna.

In the two minutes, fourteen seconds video clip, passengers took turns to introduce themselves and urge the government to help them by reaching out to the bandits.

PREMIUM TIMES reviewed the clip and understands that it was shot before the release of the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, by the gunmen.

This newspaper reported how Mr Hassan was released by the gunmen after the release of an earlier video and alleged payment of ransom.

In the latest video, the victims were surrounded by gun-wielding bandits in a forest.

“In my own case, I’m a staff of INEC Kaduna State and I’m appealing to the government to please come to our assistance,” one of the victims said.

Another one in a yellow shirt said she was talking on behalf of the students on the attacked train. “Government should please try and come to our aid,” she said.

The person recording the video, who appeared to be one of the abducted passengers, asked the lady, in English, which school she attends. She replied that she is a student of Agriculture at Kaduna State University.

Another female passenger said, “I’m Gladys … . an ex-staff of Defense Industry of Nigeria. What happened on Monday was needless if the government would listen and accede to what the populace are talking about … “

Four male passengers, including Mr Hassan, were standing while the others sat.

“We’re the passengers from Abuja going to Kaduna in the attacked train on Monday, the 28th of March,” one of the passengers said in the Hausa language.

“From that time to now, only we know the kind of situation we’ve been into in this place. There are a lot of women and children, also old people who are mostly sick and some of us who are also not too young. Please, we’re calling on friends and well-wishers and government, which is the reason we found ourselves in this situation, to quickly do something to save us from here,” he said.

Mr Hassan also chipped in by saying the bandits told them they have grievances against the government.

“I want to call on the government to look for these people and discuss the issues,” he said.

The person shooting the video panned left and right to capture many of the passengers and the gunmen who surrounded them.

The Attack

The train, travelling from Abuja to Kaduna was attacked on March 28. The attackers first used explosives to immobilize the train before shooting at some passengers and kidnapping others.

At least eight people were killed in the attack while over 100 people are believed to have been abducted.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) subsequently suspended the operation of the Abuja- Kaduna train.

The NRC announced that repair work on the blown-up track and the damaged coaches of the train has commenced. It said the train will resume operations immediately after the repair work is completed.

The attack on the train is arguably the most daring by the bandits who since 2018 have attacked communities and road travellers at will.

Thousands of people have been killed and others kidnapped in Kaduna and other North-western states like Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi, as well as the North-central state of Niger.

The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, hours after the train attack, called on the Nigerian military to bomb the camps of the bandits. He said the government knows the hideouts of the bandits and listens to their communications.

He also said he and other governors of the North-west were considering hiring mercenaries as they believe the military appears incapable of handling the terrorists.

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