Abuja : Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered increased kinetic and non-kinetic efforts by security agencies to rescue the kidnapped victims of a railway attack by gunmen in the northwestern part of the country about three months ago, the presidency said.
The President gave the order as the Nigerian government continues to review the issue of the kidnapped railway passengers to bring the case to closure, said a statement by senior presidential spokesman Garba Shehu on Tuesday.
“Upon the President’s approval, the government is continuing on the two-lane approach, kinetic and non-kinetic to secure the passengers’ safe release,” Shehu said, noting 51 or more victims were still being held in custody.
On March 28, a passenger train on the way to the northwestern state of Kaduna from Abuja, the Nigerian capital, was attacked by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Rijana, a town in Kaduna.
The terrorists had planted explosive devices along the rail track, and when the Abuja-Kaduna bound train approached the point, the device exploded, causing the train to derail, Xinhua news agency reported.
On March 29, the government confirmed that eight passengers were killed and 26 others sustained injuries in the attack while scores of people were taken away by the gunmen.
Shehu said the defense, security and intelligence agencies had given assurances to intensify operational engagements geared toward securing the rescue of all hostages and restoring peace to all parts of the country.
He added the government was also mindful of the efforts of some patriotic and influential citizens and institutions that are helping in securing the safe release of the hostages.
“The President’s clear directive on the issue is that the hostages must be brought home alive. The country’s military and security agencies are aware of their duty to the nation and are determined to give effect to the President’s charge with increased urgency,” he said.