The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Friday said the efforts by the Federal Government to rescue the remaining abductees of the March 28 train attack were being frustrated by the bandits.
He also argued that based on the Federal Government’s efforts, nobody could say that it was “not doing anything” to secure their release.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, the presidential spokesman said the terrorist leader holding the passengers hostage requested he releases his wife and some of his comrades but failed to release them (hostages) after Federal Government his demands.
“Anyone who says that the government is not doing anything or has not done anything does not know what contributions we are making to fight for their freedom. Don’t forget since this thing happened, the leader of the abductors said his concern is to get his pregnant wife out of the security mess she is in.
“Nigerian government took her to the hospital, where she was delivered of twins and he was shown his twins health alongside his wife and was handed to his parents thinking that the government has done a well-done job.
“After this, they brought a new request that there are about six to seven of his boys in Yola with the hope that if they have released all abductors in their custody will be released. The outcome was that they said they needed money. So, nobody should say that the government is not doing anything,” Shehu said.
While meeting representatives of the hostages on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari said the military had shelved the option of force in rescuing the remaining hostages.
Fielding further questions on why the President chose to meet the representatives of the abductees from the train and not others who were abducted from their villages, Shehu said, “Well, these have not done anything. They are just passengers in a train, and nonetheless, there is a burden on the government and other things.”