Victims of the Kaduna train attack, who were abducted by armed bandits, have cried out for help in a new video released by their captors.
The bandits were seen manhandling some of the abducted victims, particularly the males — flogging them with sticks.
The victims, in the two minutes and 20 seconds video now viral online, were also seen crying and pleading for help, urging the international community to urgently come to their rescue.
They lamented President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to end their four months’ ordeal. The bandits had on March 28, 2022, launched an attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train, killing eight and abducting over 60 passengers on board. Many of those abducted were children.
The daring attack on the train was frequent attacks by rampaging bandits in the northwestern parts of Nigeria.
In the video, one of the captives appeared in front of the camera, speaking in the Hausa language and narrated how they were kidnapped by the bandits.
He said their lives are in danger in the hands of their abductors while explaining how they have been suffering in the forests where they are currently held.
The unnamed captive was heard pleading with international communities – the United Nations, the American and United Kingdom governments to help secure their release.
Another female captive was seen in the video weeping and called the Buhari regime “a wicked” government.
But one of the bandits, who appeared to be a leader of the gang, told the victims to blame the Nigerian government for failing to do the needful and allowing the horrific situation to linger.
“If you (the Nigerian government) did not reach our demand, this place will be a slaughterhouse,” he said.
He also vowed that the group would kidnap president Buhari, governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna, and top government officials serving in the regime.
The bandits had demanded N100 million ransom for each of the victims in their captive.
The brutal group had also asked the Buhari regime to release dozens of his commanders and their families detained by the military before they could free the passengers.
On April 7, Alwan Hassan, the Managing Director of the Bank of the Agriculture, was the first to be released by the bandits after he reportedly paid an N100 million ransom.
The bandits also released 11 of the hostages on June 12, “following series of robust engagement with the terrorists and with the approval of the federal government”, according to Tukur Mamu, the negotiator and media consultant to an Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi.
President Buhari had directed security agents to ensure all possible means of securing the release of the kidnapped passengers.
He gave the directive in a statement released in June by his media aide, Garba Shehu.
“Upon the President’s approval, the government is continuing 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,” Mr Shehu added.