…Train service to resume in 3months
The federal government has disclosed that no ransom was paid in securing the release of the remaining 23 abducted victims of March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack.
Also that Abuja-Kaduna train service may resume in the within three months.
The minister of Transportation, Mua’zu Sambo, who was speaking on Friday at a press briefing in Abuja said that “no kobo was paid in exchange for the release of the last 23 hostages and other ones as well.”
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari’s led- administration had zero tolerance for ransom payment.
“In matters that involve national security and intelligence, it is not appropriate to review exactly what measures has been taken in order to secure release of hostages of this nature.
“It is the position of this government that under no circumstances should there be collateral damage,” he said.
The minister said , in other words, the military and security agencies that have been charged with the responsibility of securing the release of these hostages should not act in a way that will endanger the lives of these hostages.
The minister revealed there is a committee made up of some retired generals and some retired public officers of high ranking and status who assisted the military and security agencies throughout the process of securing the release of this hostages.
“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 this 23 hostages, indeed for the other ones as well.”
Responding to questions feilded to him on when the Abuja- Kaduna train service will resume Sambo said following the release of the victims, plans were underway to resume the train services as soon as possible.
“ In order to resume train services, we have to put in place measures that will ensure that going forward such an incident will never happen again in this country.
“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.
“ 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 mind and hearts assured of safety.”
On why the victims were not present at the briefing, the minister said they required medical care and certain other procedures were required after their rescue.
He, however, noted that after the meeting of the hostages with president Buhari on Thursday, they were united with their families.
“ It became obviously difficult to get them back together and bring them here. They actually have a plan of coming to thank the government through the ministry and hopefully they will give us a date next week
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Magdalene Ajani, said all released victims had access to health care services including post trauma care to ensure adequate rehabilitation.