The Presidency has confirmed that the abductors of Abuja-Kaduna train passengers have failed to release their captives, despite meeting their demands.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, made the revelation on Friday while speaking with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service.
The revelation came a few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, met with the families of the freed abducted train passengers at the Aso Villa, Abuja.
Mr Shehu told BBC Hausa that the government met the demands of the terrorists, which includes the release of their wives and children from custody but the terrorists failed to meet their own side the deal.
Mr Shehu said one of those released was the wife of one of the leaders of the terror gang who recently gave birth to a set of twins at a health facility.
“The government also released seven children of the members of the terrorist gangs, as demanded, but they reneged in releasing the train passengers,” Mr Shehu said.
After the relatives of the terrorists were released from custody, the government flew them from Adamawa, where they were detained, and handed them over to the terrorists. Despite these, Mr Shehu said the terrorists refused to release the train passengers, instead, they asked for ransom.
Mr Shehu said the government is unwilling to pay the ransom but had no choice other than to do so.
The official added that 31 of the passengers are still being held in captivity despite the efforts of the government in meeting the demands of their abductors.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regret that the challenges of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping faced by the country have stretched the utilisation of security agencies and other resources.
Speaking at the launch of the National Crisis Management Doctrine (NCMD) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday, the president explained that due to the challenges, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) revised the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) which he endorsed in August 2016.
The newly launched management doctrine is aimed at bridging the gap created by the extensive deployment of security services through fostering collaboration among ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
The NCMD, which was developed by the ONSA, in coordination with relevant MDAs, would ensure greater successes in tackling national crises. The president commended the efforts of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd), his staff and members of the working group from various responder MDAs for the remarkable work in developing the doctrine.