Relatives of passengers abducted during an attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train have warned the federal government against resuming operations along that route until their loved ones have been rescued.
On March 28, a Kaduna-bound train was attacked by gunmen. Eight people were killed, over 20 injured and a number of others were abducted.
The families of the abducted train passengers had, on Monday, given the federal government a 72-hour ultimatum to rescue the captives.
As of Friday, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) had begun repairing the track ahead of resumption of operations along the Abuja-Kaduna route.
Speaking at a media briefing in Kaduna on Friday, Abdulfatai Jimoh, on behalf of the families, said the authorities should not be speaking about resuming train services until their loved ones have been rescued.
“It is true that we gave the federal government a 72-hour ultimatum which expired yesterday midnight,” Jimoh said.
“We are grateful to God that before the expiration of the 72 hours, we heard from the federal government after the federal executive council meeting on Wednesday, through the minister of information, that the government is already on top of the situation with what has happened.
“We acknowledge it and we appreciate it. But what we want to add is that the government should speed up the process of discussion with them (kidnappers) so that they can come out to release our people soonest. This is our appeal now.
“The NRC should not be talking about reopening their services now when our people are in captivity, because what is the assurance that if they start services now, the people that will board the train are safe?
“What measures have they put in place to guarantee the security of those that are going to patronise their services? We don’t want a recurrence.
“The first thing should be to get the captives out and then, they can put adequate measures in place and resume services so that this does not happen again in future.
“We want to believe that they will not do it [resume rail operations], because if they do, we will not take it lightly with them. We believe they will not because they know what is at stake.”