KadunaTrain Attack: Revisiting Buhari’s Marching Order to Security Agencies
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi
Lately, a horrific footage released by the terrorists has gone viral across media spaces in which the remaining 43 captives (as at then) of the ill-fated Kaduna train were featured being flogged mercilessly by their abductors.
Recall that, it has been exactly four months since gun-wielding terrorists, on March 28, 2022 used explosives and bombed the rail tracks around Katari-Rijana axis which causes the derailment of the Kaduna K-9 training few kilometers to its destination in Rigasa.
The terrorists fired gun shots on the train thereby killing eight, inflicting various degrees of injuries on others and abducted 63 of the passengers, some of which are still languishing in the terrorists’den.
With regard to the captives’ plight, President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier on June 22 issued a marching order to the security agencies including the Military, Police, Department of State Service (DSS) and host of others to bring back home alive the train abductees.
The presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, announced Buhari’s directive in a statement titled ‘President Buhari Directs Urgency in Dealing with Kidnapped Railway Passengers’ Case.’
Shehu said upon Buhari’s approval, the government had continued on the two-lane approach, kinetic and non-kinetic, to secure the passengers’ safe release.
“The kidnappers made a demand for the release of their own children and upon the settlement of that issue, they let go eleven of the victims, even though more were expected.
“The setback notwithstanding, the government is not leaving any stone unturned in the efforts to bring all of the hostages back.
“The defence, security and intelligence agencies have given assurances to intensify operational engagements geared towards securing the rescue of all hostages and restoring peace to all parts of the country.” Shehu was quoted in the statement.
Though the country’s military and security agencies were aware of their duty to the nation and were determined to give effect to Buhari’s charge with increased urgency, however, it’s apparently that this order is yet to see the light of the day. Because, the terrorists were still the ones ‘calling the shot’ regarding the abducted passengers.
However, we are still not oblivious about behind the scene efforts of the Nigerian military and other security institutions, specifically the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) that gathers and transmit actionable intelligence for the military in trying to secure the release of the train captives.
Because, it was through this non-kinetic approach by the Military, DSS and other stakeholders that 11 of these victims were freed by the terrorists on June 11, 2022.
The facilitator for the negotiation, Malam Tukur Mamu, who is the Kaduna based publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper and the media consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmed Gumi was quoted saying; “President Buhari must be commended for understanding the gravity of the crisis and for giving directives to the security agencies.
“The CDS (Chief of Defence Staff), Gen Lucky Irabor, has done excellently well under the circumstances. The Army and the DSS have played crucial roles. There is no military solution to this predicament.”
After the terrorists who masterminded the KadunaTrain attack have invaded Kuje medium correctional facility in Abuja and succeeded in freeing their commanders whom they so much craved in exchange for the abducted train passengers, it is obvious that the federal government has lost its scorecards that can be used against those criminals in bargaining for the captives’ release.
Unless otherwise, the option before the concerned authorities is the adoption of non-kinetic strategy as the terrorists will not hesitate in slaughtering the victims, immediately when they come under attack by security forces.
With regard to the recently released video, it is disheartening that the captives have lost hope on Nigerian government and the security forces on rescuing them, thus, calling for other nations of the world and the international communities including the United Nations (UN) and Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) to instead attend to their plight with urgency.
Nonetheless, security forces should continue to work in collaboration in order to rescue these victims as they clocked four months in the terrorists’ den under horrific and untold hardship conditions.
May the Lamb of God, who takes away sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria.
Mukhtar is a Staff Writer with the Emergency Digest.
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