From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Families of 62 hostages from the Abuja-Kaduna bound train attacked by terrorists have appealed to the Federal Government to swap eight children of the terrorists arrested and detained by government to facilitate the release of the hostages who have, so far, spent two months in captivity.
The Abuja-Kaduna bound train was attacked and bombed on March 28, where eight passengers were killed and 62 abducted on the fateful day.
The family members of the hostages, while addressing a press conference yesterday, said the terrorists have started communicating with them directly and revealing some of their demands which the federal government must meet.
The spokesman of family members of the abductees, Prof. Abdullazeez Atta, said the terrorists were asking for the release of their eight children in custody of the federal government in Yola, Adamawa State.
Prof. Atta added that the terrorists said, upon the release of the eight children, they would release the 62 hostages in their den.
“We are, therefore, begging President Muhammadu Buhari and his government officials to release the eight children for the sake of our own 62 people in captivity.
“President Buhari should not sleep until our loved ones regain freedom. The federal government should bring the eight children to us; we are ready to take them to the forest to reunite with the kidnappers. This will enable the release of our people. The kidnappers are holding us in confidence and we are also holding them in confidence.”
Earlier, in a procession to protest the continued detention of their loved ones by the terrorists, the family members sang, saying, “All we are saying, release our people”.
Speaking shortly after the procession, Chairman of the families of the abductees, Dr. AbdulFatai Momoh, said, “We, the families of AK9 Abuja-Kaduna train abducted passengers woke up yesterday (Tuesday) to the sad reality of a recorded audio tape from the abductors of our family members.
“In the referenced audio tape were some highly disturbing information, and since then, life has not been the same with us.
“We are, once again, appealing to our dear President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to kindly consider and accede to the demands of the abductors of our family members and save innocent Nigerians and your citizens.
“We are appealing to the abductors of our family members to show compassion to them as fellow Nigerians.”