Setting a new record in war crimes, the terrorists, who attacked and kidnapped the Kaduna-bound train passengers on March 28, 2022, yesterday, became more impatient and vicious with their remaining 43 victims as they flogged them mercilessly in a new video, as an expression of their dissatisfaction with the government, which is yet to accede to their requests.
However, in what seemed like a confirmation of suspicions of nefarious deal gone wrong, one of the escapees during the recent attack on the Kuje Correctional Centre, who has just reunited with his terrorist gang, has alleged that the prison break was actually a plannedexchange deal for the kidnapped Kaduna train passengers, which failed after the terrorists attacked the correctional facility and freed members of their gang.
In a new and trending video, the terrorists, including the one, who claimed to have recently escaped from the Kuje prison, have threatened to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and members of the National Assembly.
But the presidency has replied the terrorists, saying it would not play into its bait, because its security was neither clueless or helpless on what to do, both to tame general insecurity and rescue the victims in their den.
This nonetheless, Ado Aleiro, the notorious bandit, who was recently turbaned as Sarkin Fulani, in Yantodo Emirate of Zamfara State, has said he did not beg for the title bestowed on him by the Zamfara State Emirate Council but the council begged him to take it instead.
However, one of the terrorists, who claimed to have just escaped during the Kuje prison attack, said God rescued him, but was quick to add: “They wanted to exchange me with these trashes. God has freed me.
“With this gun I am holding, we will bring down this country. If you want to follow religion come and join. This religion must spread to everywhere.
“We will catch you (President Buhari) and El-Rufai and bring you here and slaughter. The whole of Kaduna will not be spared. Know that I am in this bush now, look at me very well.
Another terrorist, who also spoke in the video, declared that they would abduct President Buhari and El-Rufai to humiliate them like the victims.
Also speaking, another of the criminals, said, “This is a message to the Nigerian government concerning its citizens. It is not our intention to do this. They set up one committee for drinking tea in Kaduna with a view to discuss and secure the release of these people, but they are busy drinking their tea.
“The should know that we know that the committee is not doing anything to secure the release of these people. We know that they are planning to secure their release by force. You are bragging of guns. We have been seeing your planes and guns, which are not even up to…
“We are doing this for God, we are not afraid of anybody. We promised God that we are ready to sacrifice our blood to do everything. This is just nothing to what we intend to do if our demands are not met…”
But, in the five minutes and 30 seconds video, recorded in the Hausa language, two of the young terrorists, were seen beating their victims mercilessly with sticks, amid crying and wailing.
After about a minute of the beating, one of the terrorists ordered the boys to stop, saying, “Ali, Ali, it’s ok”.
Four of the victims, who spoke in the video lamented that the Nigerian government had failed in meeting the demands of the terrorists and called on the international community to intervene.
One of the victims said they had spent 120 days in captivity without the government showing concern about their plight, adding that, their relations had indicated interest in securing their release, but the government prevented them.
“Our relations wanted to rescue us, but the government prevented them. For this reason, we are calling on nations across the world, like America, England, France, the International community, Saudi-Arabia to intervene in this matter.
“These people (terrorists) didn’t even have the intention of keeping us for seven days if their demand were met. But the Nigerian government did not show concern over this issue.
“That is the reason why we are calling on big nations of the world like America, England, France, the International community, the United Nation, African Union, to intervene so that we will be freed and be reunited with our families,” he said.
Three other victims, who identified themselves as Mukhtar Shuaibu, Mukhtar Bala Mohammed and Sani Abdullahi, also spoke along the same line.
Spokesman of the Kaduna State police command, Mohammed Jalige, and the Coordinator of families of the abducted train passengers, Dr. Abdulfatai Jimoh, did not respond to telephone calls when contacted.
Presidency: Our Security is Not Clueless, Helpless
The presidency, yesterday, reacted to a trending video on the social media showing the remaining Kaduuna train passengers in captivity being beaten by terrorists and insisted that the military, has the wherewithal to bomb the location but was only concerned about the attendant civilian casualty.
In a release by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the presidency averred that the dilemma in dealing with the specific case of train terrorists was manifold.
According to it, “punitive action like the popular call for carpet bombing of the known locations might assuage the desire of an angry public for revenge, but what about the hostages? They have committed no offence. All they did was to board a train.”
While stressing that President Buhari had provided necessary moral and financial backing to the security agencies, it added that the presidency expected positive result on the issues at stake
“The Presidency, in the meantime, wishes to reassure the public that the president has done all, and even more than what is expected of him as Commander-in-Chief by way of morale, material and equipment support to the military and expects nothing short of good results in the immediate.”
“Terrorist activity using propaganda and the use of violence to force governments to accept or submit to political demands is not new all over world. The country’s security and defence forces are not clueless or helpless. They have their plans and ways of doing things, which they will not display in the media.
“It suffices to say that the security forces are not relenting. They are acutely aware of their duties, responsibilities and what the nation expects of them. Whenever they embark upon those actions, they expect that the public should provide them with the needed support.
“Terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought by all actors – the military, the civilian population and the communication service providers. This is the only way safe havens of terrorists are eliminated in every part of the world.
“To help the nation against ongoing situation, the media must increase their support for the fight against the exploitation of the internet and social media for terrorist purposes.”
Terrorists had attacked a Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, killing eight and kidnapping no fewer than 61 passengers.
They had initially freed a Managing Director of the Bank of the Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, after allegedly paying a N100 million ransom on April 7. Seven more victims were later released after allegedly also paying N800 million ransom.
The terrorists further freed 11 persons, which according to Tukur Mamu, the negotiator and media consultant to the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, said was achieved “following a series of robust engagement with the terrorists and with the approval of the federal government.”
The remaining 43 victims were told to pay N100 million to secure the release of their loved ones.
The terrorists had recently attacked the advance convoy of President Buhari in Kastina, ahead of the recent Eid-el-Kabir and attacked Kuje Correctional Center, where they released 64 Boko Haram suspects, among some 600 other inmates, who were also forcibly let loose.
I was Begged to Take Chieftaincy, Zamfara Terrorists Says
Ado Aleiro, the notorious bandit, who was turbaned as Sarkin Fulani, in Yantodo Emirate of Zamfara State, has said he was beg for the title to be bestowed on him by the Zamfara State Emirate Council.
The Emir Yantodo, Aliyu Garba and elders of the community had honoured Aleiro with a chieftaincy title, an idea designed to prevent future attack by his men.
He was turbaned the Sarkin Fulani in the presence of the State Commissioner for Internal security and home Affairs, and other Government functionaries.
The development, however, generated criticism, which led to the suspension of the Emir.
Also, the Katsina Police Command, had said Aleiro had been on the wanted list for kidnapping and killing of innocent souls.
But speaking with Deutche Welle (D.W) Radio, Aleiro said it was the community that begged him to receive the title.
“Honestly, I didn’t solicit for the title, I was summoned by the Emirate, which initially, I rejected it. After consultations with our leaders over the development, they suggested that I shouldn’t turn down the offer since the new emir insisted it had to happen in his emirate; that was how I accepted it,” he said.
He also denied being the mastermind of killing of over 100 people in Kadisau village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State, adding that he did not know the person responsible for the attack.
Katsina: Driver, Passenger Killed as Terrorists Open Fire on Vehicle
A driver with the Katsina State Transport Authority (KTSTA), Nasiru Yushau and one passenger, were yesterday killed, when rampaging terrorists opened fire on a 30-seater bus of the agency along the Katsina-Jibia highway.
The incident occurred at Farun Bala community at about 11am yesterday, when the driver of the commercial bus was conveying the passengers from Jibia Local Government Area to Katsina, the state capital.
Sources said the deceased upon sighting the terrorists, who were crossing the ever-busy road at the community, tried to reverse the vehicle back to Jibia, when they opened fire on the vehicle, shot him dead and one other pessanger.
The sources claimed that many passengers were also kidnapped by the terrorists and some sustained varying degrees of injuries while scampering to safety during the incident.
General Manager of the KTSTA, Haruna Musa, while confirming the incident to THISDAY in a telephone interview, said the terrorists killed only the driver.
The general manager explained that the other person killed was not among the passengers that boarded the KTSTA vehicle with registration number 145-58KT.
According to him, the terrorists didn’t kidnapped any of the passengers after killing the driver but left with some cash and telephones belonging to the survived passengers.
“He (Nasiru Yushau) conveyed the passengers he took from Katsina to Jibia. Then, from Jibia also, he took passengers to Katsina that was when the incident happened at Farun Bala community.
“The driver was trying to turn the vehicle with the passengers, when he saw the four bandits crossing the road at that particular community. They shot him dead. Maybe they thought that he would go back and give information to security agencies.
“There was no kidnapping intention by the bandits, because they didn’t kidnap anybody. They only shot the driver and collected some cash and phones of the passengers. It wasn’t a target.
“I went to the scene and I was among those that took the corpse from the scene to General Hospital Katsina now to Musawa, the hometown of the deceased, for burial”.
Nigeria, Turkish Air Force Chiefs to Collaborate on Counterterrorism, Drones
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao and the Commander of the Turkish Air Force (TurAF), General Hasan Kucukakyuz, have expressed the willingness of the two military forces to collaborate on defence technology in order to enhance their operational efficiency in the fight against terrorism being faced by both countries.
This move was made known when Air Marshal Amao recently paid a courtesy call on the Commander TurAF during his 5-day official visit to Turkey.
They also emphasised the need for Nigeria and Turkey to share their experiences on the use of unmanned aircraft systems in counterterrorism operations.
The duo said it would enable strategic synergy and enhance proficiency with renewed commitment to wipe out terrorism.
While appreciating Turkish military experience in counter-terrorism operation, which spanned over a decade, Amao stated that Turkey was able to achieve operational successes against terrorists due to the usage of right military equipment.
“Turkey has succeeded in developing a robust defence industrial sector capable of meeting up to a significant percentage of critical requirements of her armed forces and other security agencies,” he said.
Amao, therefore, called for greater collaborations with the Turkish Air Force Command, even as he said the NAF appreciated the existing cooperation in the areas of training and extension of invitation for NAF personnel participation in some of the TurAF international military exercises.
He said two countries could greatly benefit from military student exchange training programmes as the consideration would enhance critical understanding of the two countries’ security environments and deepen greater cooperation.
While reiterating the need for strong collaboration in defence technology, the CAS stated that the signing of Defence Industry Cooperation Agreement by the two countries offered greater opportunity for the NAF and TurAF to work more closely together.
In his remarks, Kucukakyuz noted that, Turkish Air Force was willing to deepen cooperation with the NAF by assisting the service in any area that could ultimately strengthen its operational capabilities.
He stated that the NAF would henceforth fully participate in its international military exercises, including Anatolia Eagle.
The Turkish general promised to liaise with the NAF and assist in all areas of military cooperation with other services in Turkey as well as defence procurement concerns.
A statement by NAF said the two air chiefs agreed to fashion out modalities that would enable a meeting between officers of the two air forces to outline areas of comprehensive cooperation that could be of mutual value to both sides.