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Train attack: Tukur Mamu suggested ransom before bandits asked, says FG panel member

Abdulmalik Atta, a member of the presidential committee set up to facilitate the release of train passengers abducted in Kaduna has spoken o...


Abdulmalik Atta, a member of the presidential committee set up to facilitate the release of train passengers abducted in Kaduna has spoken on the panel’s activities.

 

Atta spoke on Friday when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television.

 

On Wednesday, the federal government announced the rescue of the remaining passengers who were still in captivity.

 

Tukur Mamu, an aide to Ahmad Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric, was involved in negotiations for the release of the passengers abducted during the attack on a Kaduna-bound train in March.

 

He was, however, arrested in September at the Kano International Airport after he returned from Egypt where he had been detained on his way to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) had described the outcome of its investigation on Mamu, publisher of Desert Herald, as “mind-boggling”.

 

Speaking on Friday, Atta said Mamu “betrayed” the federal government during negotiations for the release of the abductees.

 

He said the kidnappers did not demand ransom at first, but that Mamu “put money issue” into the negotiation.

 

“It has been six months and one week, but we thank God everything has come to an end now, thanks to the support from the federal government through the office of the chief of defence staff,” he said.

 

“We were able to go into the bush and bring back the remaining 23 families, not through our making but because somebody betrayed the committee and the government. That’s in the person of Tukur Mamu, who did everything within his reach to thwart the efforts the government put in place — all in his interest.

 

“As we all know, he’s in the hands of the government now. Alhamdulillah, all the family members are back.

 

 “The bandits never asked for money ab initio, but he put money issue into the whole thing and derailed the process and kept everybody for the past six months.

 

“We just parted away with about $200,000. Thank God the CDS took it upon himself, and put in place a committee that never asked for one kobo.

 

“Every sacrifice being done so far has been personal towards ensuring the release of the victims. I am happy to tell you that I worked with credible members of the highest order.

 

“If I have my way, all of them will be given national honour because we had to risk our lives, went into the bush, slept in the bush, and heard the complaints of these people. Even though we knew what they did was wrong, we had to engage them.

 

 “Going forward, our security agents must synergise their operations and the government should open more rooms for engagement.”

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