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Kaduna train attack: Terrorist commander wanted to marry me, says victim

  Lois Arzurfa, one of the freed victims of the Kaduna train attack, says she is willing to put the experience behind her. In an interview...


Lois Arzurfa, one of the freed victims of the Kaduna train attack, says she is willing to put the experience behind her.

In an interview with Punch on Monday, Arzurfa recounted the ordeal she and 60 others faced in over six months of captivity.

Speaking from a hospital bed in Kaduna, she narrated how the terrorists attacked the train, firing indiscriminately while yelling and ordering passengers to “go out”.

According to the 300-level student of Kaduna State University, they walked for miles that night before motorcycles arrived and took them away. Another four-day journey would lead them to the camp they would call home for 191 days.

 “We walked a distance that night before bikes came. Then, they took us to where we spent that night. We journeyed for four days before we got to where they dropped us, that is their main camp. We were there doing nothing, every day was just like repetition of the previous day,” she said.

Arzurfa also recounted that medical doctors were brought in to treat sick abductees.

“Anytime we are sick, they bring drugs that is just it. The terrorists have medical doctors who come around to give medical care,” she said.

Recall that Tukur Mamu, media consultant to Ahmad Gumi, the popular Islamic cleric, said a top bandit commander had planned to marry Arzurfa, the youngest victim of the train attack.

“Yes, it is true that one of the terrorists commanders picked and proposed to marry me but it was just an offer and I rejected it. Once you reject, they don’t force people,” the 21-year-old confirmed.

“I was not the only one the terrorists offered to marry. They would just ask you, ‘I want to marry you, I want to keep you and I want you to change your religion and convert to my religion.’ So, it is left for you to either agree or reject.”

Arzurfa said she hoped to regain her freedom someday but she didn’t expect it would come at the time it did.

 “I was just praying, waiting for the day I will leave the camp. The terrorists just came and asked us to start packing our things,” she said.

“I never knew I was going to come out. Even if I was going to come out, I knew it was going to take a while. So, I was just there praying to God, waiting for the day I would leave the camp.

“The preparation took a week until the final day when they now asked us to move and they handed us over to the presidential committee.


Now that Arzurfa is out, she says she bears no grudges against her violators and has forgiven them just as God instructs.

“Now that I am out, I have forgiven my abductors, as much as God forgives our sins too. All what happened are in my past now, the terrorists are in my past too, it is over now, I don’t have anything against them,” she said.

On March 28, a train heading to Abuja from Kaduna was attacked, resulting in killings, injuries and abductions.

A total of 61 persons were said to have been kidnapped during the attack.

The kidnap victims were released at various intervals, including 11 freed in June, seven in July, and 12 persons in August.

On October 5, the last batch of 23 passengers in captivity regained their freedom.


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