By KEMI KASUMU
As the government continues to review the issue of the kidnapped railway passengers and making all efforts to trace and bring back the 51 or more still being held in custody, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed increased efforts – kinetic and non-kinetic – to bring the case to a close, Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, says on Tuesday.
“Upon the President’s approval, the Government is continuing on the two-lane approach, kinetic and non-kinetic to secure the passengers’ safe release.
“The kidnappers made a demand for the release of their own children and upon the settlement of that issue, they let go eleven of the victims, even though more were expected.
“The setback notwithstanding, the Government is not leaving any stone unturned in the efforts to bring all of the hostages back.
“The Defence, Security and Intelligence Agencies have given assurances to intensify operational engagements geared towards securing the rescue of all hostages and restoring peace to all parts of the country. Government is also mindful of efforts of some patriotic and influential persons and institutions that are helping in securing the safe release of the hostages.
“President Buhari welcomes the return of the recently released passengers back to their families and loved ones, while expressing his solemn commitment to the families of those still in captivity, assuring that there will be no let-up until they are reunited with their families in the shortest time possible.
“The President’s clear directive on the issue is that the hostages must be brought home alive. The country’s military and security agencies are aware of their duty to the nation and are determined to give effect to the President’s charge with increased urgency,” Shehu said in a statement he sent to The DEFENDER dated June 21, 2022.