President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why the nation’s security forces have so far been unable to rescue the kidnapped victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack from their abductors.
President Buhari stated that the terrorists responsible for the evil act are using the victims as human shields, making it difficult for the military and other security forces to attack in order to avoid civilian casualties.
The President made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja when he received some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sallah homage.
“As we celebrate this occasion with joy amidst friends and family members, we are fully conscious of the fact that many families in our country are in a state of fear and anxiety on account of the many captives held by terrorists against their will, including those taken away after the tragic bombing of the Abuja-Kaduna train,” he said.
“I have directed security agencies to ensure quick and safe recovery of all victims of kidnapping. I urge the railway management to immediately set up a situation room for the coordination of the rescue mission and for a minute by minute engagement with the families of the captives.
“This should ease their pain and anxiety as we push the military to finding a safe return to their families. My aim is to see all those in captivity safely rescued.
“Let me assure Nigerians that the bandits are just pushing their luck, but this is only for a while before they are finally crushed. They are using civilians as human shields, thereby making it difficult to confront them directly.”
He further assured that his government would not relent in ensuring the safe return of all victims still in captivity but wants it done without killing the hostages.
“Any rescue operation that results in the death of any hostage cannot be deemed a success”.
“The government doesn’t want this kind of tragic outcome. It’s a complex situation that demands proper handling. The primary objective of any rescue operation is to free the hostages safely, unharmed and alive.
“Let me make it clear, however, that defeating the terrorists and bandits requires more than weapons; we also need human intelligence which is necessary to frustrate terrorist plans.”