The lead negotiator for the release of the kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna Train passengers, Malam Tukur Mamu, has revealed that the same group which launched the March 28 attack on the Kaduna-bound train, was responsible for the attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Abuja on Tuesday night.
Mamu, who is the publisher of Desert Herald newspapers based in Kaduna and Dan Iya of Fika Emirate of Yobe State, said the terrorist group had hinted him on the attack on the custodial facility and others, which he subsequently passed the information to the Nigeria’s security agencies but they didn’t act.
LEADERSHIP recalls that after the Ansaru terrorists had released the managing director of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) and a pregnant passenger of the train, Mamu led negotiations for the release of the third batch of the kidnap victims comprising 11 passengers few weeks ago.
Since then, he has consistently raised the alarm on the deplorable condition of the remaining hostages, calling on the Federal Government to act fast by listening to the terrorists in order to save the lives of the innocent Nigerians in captivity.
But, reacting to the attack on the Kuje Prison on Wednesday, Mamu, who is also the media consultant to the popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi, said he was quitting the voluntary assignment of negotiation with the terrorists over government’s insincere attitude.
He also said his own life was in danger, adding that if anything untoward happens to him, the terrorists should not be blamed but the corrupt system.
In a statement personally signed by Mamu and sent to LEADERSHIP, he said his decision was informed by his frustration and failure of relevant government officials to do the needful in avoiding the Kuje Prison attack and the continued sufferings of the abducted train passengers.
“This is probably the last I will ever dable on the above subject matter, because of the frustrations and failure of relevant official stakeholders to take prompt and painful decisions, in the interest of the citizens of a nation that have been consumed by insecurity and avoidable attacks.
“With all the billions in budgetary allocations on security, with instances of few becoming billionaires at the expense of innocent lives, we must accept the fact that the current system has collapsed.
“This is also to confirm to Nigerians that after unnecessary delays and despite the milestone we reached in efforts to secure the release of the remaining victims of Abuja-Kaduna train attack, there was indeed a fresh threat by the abductors that they will to start slaughter their victims yesterday, Tuesday, 5th July, 2022. I was crying on audio after listening to their recorded message and pleading with them. Their renewed threat was as a result of our (FG’s) failure to convey to them a definite response regarding their two demands I consider worth giving speedy approval especially if one will take into cognisance the value of the innocent lives that are with them and in a country where one person will steal far more than what they are requesting for.
“As a result of my engagement, they gave us opportunity to respond to their demands but we failed to do so on four different occasions which resulted to the recent threat. For me, there’s no difference between corrupt officials or contractors that are committing treason against the nation by way of stealing the resources that will benefit everybody, monies that will stop preventable deaths in our hospitals due to decaying structures, improve standards of education and even stop insecurity and crimes, with the terrorists that emerged because of this sad reality and now unleashing terror on the entire society.
“It was after the failure of the fourth oppornunity that they angrely issued the fresh threat to start slaughtering their victims yesterday, Tuesday. After much pleading with them, tolerated abuses and begged them to allow individual family members to contact them directly, they gave today, Wednesday, 6th July, that if there is nothing definite from family members they will start executing their threat. I immediately passed this disturbing intelligence to all the relevant security agencies, the National Assembly leadership and other stakeholders. But sadly as at today, Wednesday, which is the dead line they gave, there is no word from anybody. I have nevertheless sent words to them to reconsider their threat and allow family members to reach out to them.
“And even on the tendency and threat to attack targets and other facilities of interest like the Kuje Correctional Centre attack, I have shared that intelligence with the security agencies and the committee that was constituted by CDS Gen. Lucky Irabor. I can confirm without doubt that the Kuje Correctional Centre attack was executed and coordinated by the same group that attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train, because they gave indications of imminent attacks to that effect which I shared.
“For the records, they requested for the release of 51 of their members. But through power of dialogue and engagement I was able to singlehandedly scaled that number to only 10 and communicated with audio backing the development to the relevant authorities. There was unnecessary delay on giving them even a precise feedback by the government and now they have not only succeeded in carrying out another successful attack that indicts the nature of our intelligence and capacity to respond promptly but have also succeeded in releasing dozens of their members which would have been averted if action has been taken to give them only 10 and secure the release of the train victims.
“In all, this risky, painful and frustrating engagement which government is yet to acknowledge and appreciate, I have more than 100 documented audios that I shared with the relevant authorities. For the purpose of this important press release and to authenticate my claims, I will also share 4 of the latest audios.
“And for the records, since after our successful mission that led to the release of the 11 victims, I have made up my mind then to disengage completely from this voluntary service to a nation that doesn’t appreciate sacrifices because of the above reasons and many more but I was instructed on humanitarian grounds by my principal, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi to exercise patience and continue. But with the current sad development at the highest official level of government, I am formally announcing my withdrawal completely from this service and to announce to the world that my life is also being threatened. It should also be on record that if anything happens to me, certainly it is not the terrorists but within the corrupt society we are in,” Mamu stated.