Seven more hostages held by bandits who attacked a Kaduna-bound train on March 28 have been released.
Tukur Mamu, Publisher of Kaduna-based Desert Herald and Media Consultant to a controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, confirmed the release of the seven hostages to journalists in Kaduna.
He said the seven hostages were released following Gumi’s intervention.
The identities of the released family of six are Abdubakar Idris Garba, his wife, Maryam Abubakar Bobo, and their eldest son, Ibrahim Abubakar Garba, who’s 10 years old.
Others include Fatima Abubakar Garba (7), Imran Abubakar Garba (5), and youngest Zainab Abubakar Garba, who is only one and half years old.
Abubakar Idris Garba, a staff of the National Assembly Service Commission, is the son of a former Military Administrator of Kano and Benue states.
Also released is a 60-year-old woman, one Hajia Aisha Hassan, who was said to have been released due to life-threatening health challenges that deteriorated recently.
Mamu in a statement, said Gumi reached out to the terrorists “to consider the release of the poor children and their innocent parents.” after being disturbed by the flogging of the hostages.
“Disturbed by the gory videos images of four teenage children belonging to the same family he saw in the last video released by the attackers of the AK9 Train, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi for the first since the abduction of the innocent passengers of that train over four months ago, has reached out to the abductors through his Media Consultant, sent Allah’s messages to them and consistently pleaded with them to consider the release of the poor children and their innocent parents.
“It was learnt that the health condition of two of the teenage children has deteriorated since the flogging incidence that affected their helpless father. A total of additional seven hostages were therefore released on Wednesday,” the statement read in part.
“The husband of the four kids is a staff of the National Assembly Commission. There was no intervention from the Commission or NASS on his behalf since the travails began.
“This is to confirm to the world that due to Sheikh Gumi’s efforts and with the support of a serving Senator from the North (a God-fearing personality that doesn’t have any relationship with the hostages) who chose to remain anonymous that all the family of six have regained their freedom on Wednesday morning.
“Also released is a 60-year-old woman, one Hajia Aisha Hassan, who was said to have been released due to life-threatening health challenges that deteriorated recently.
“Sheikh Gumi had also prayed for the immediate release of the remaining victims and urged the government to intensify efforts towards achieving that. He said the delay in releasing the remaining victims is unnecessary and one that is achievable once the right approach has been taken.”