By Ismail Auwal
Families of victims of the Kaduna train attack have expressed disappointment with the federal government’s failure to contact them weeks after the incident.
About 100 family members also pleaded with the government to do more to secure the victims’ release at a world press conference in Abuja.
Dr. Aliyu Mahmud, who addressed the media said they were only contacted by the kidnappers once since the incident, and the call was an assurance call to inform them that their family members were safe with them, “a mere proof of life, no health guarantees.’’
Mahmud, accompanied by Uthman Aminu, Idaya Yusuf, and Dr. Mahaba said, “Government agencies reached out to us even though we had made attempts to see the right authorities, nothing.”
He noted that the mere thoughts of their loved ones being in that perilous state for 17 days is unthinkable.
He also noted that every attempt to reach out to the kidnappers for further discussion and negotiation has proven abortive because the terrorists mentioned in video clips released that they only want to discuss with the federal government.
‘’We are confused and most of the victims are in dire need of medical attention. For instance, there is a seven-month-old pregnant woman who is due for a Caesarean session a few days from now, it’s been two weeks and that puts her more in harm’s way,” ( who said this??)
Her brother who was shot has an untreated bullet wound. We have toddlers and an 85-year aged woman who is diabetic and so many others.
‘’We are at a loss of what to do. The loss of these people is a personal loss to us, not the government. We are the ones that will feel the pains of not seeing them again. We are the ones to bear the burden of knowing we could’ve saved them, had we been given room to negotiate and get our loved ones out. We want to actively participate in ensuring their safety. Nothing is too small or too much to secure the lives of the victims.”
He added that the longer they stay there, one cannot help but imagine the emotional, mental, physical trauma they are going through at this moment.
“The abuses they are suffering. This can have a lasting psychological effect on them from here on out. How will that two year old toddler look at society going forward?” he noted.
‘’We have lived in unprecedented agony these past 17 days. Food cannot be eaten without wondering if they have eaten. Sleep becomes evasive without thoughts of how they sleep. Amongst these victims are women who would have to go.’’