The federal government has began talks with terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train last month.
Relatives of passengers abducted, by the terrorists demanding ransom, confirmed this during a press conference in Kaduna on Friday.
The family members, who beckoned on the federal government to fast track the release of their kidnapped relatives, lambasted Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, for declaring his presidential ambition, days after the incident where eight persons, according to authorities, were killed, dozens injured, with a yet-to-be ascertained number of passengers abducted.
Abdulfatai Jimoh, who addressed journalists on behalf of other relatives of the abducted passengers, confirmed the negotiation between the federal government and the terrorists.
“It is true that we gave the Federal Government 72 hour ultimatum which expired yesterday (Thursday) midnight,” Mr Jimoh confirmed. “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 acknowledged it and we appreciate it. But what we want to add is that the government should speed up the process of discussion with them (terrorists) so that they can come out to release our people soonest. This is our appeal now,” he added.
The relatives also warned the Nigerian Railway Coorporation (NRC) against reopening the rail route.
“The NRC should not be talking about reopening their services now when our people are in captive because what is the assurance that if they start services now that people that will be board the train are safe?,” Mr Jimoh queried. “What measure(s) have they put in place to guaranteed the security of those that are going to patronise their services. We don’t want the reoccurrence of this.
“The first thing should be to get the captives out and then they can put adequate measures in place and resume service so that this does not happen again in future,” he added.