The fate of 168 kidnapped victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack has remained unknown as gunmen suspected to be bandits released a fresh hostage video showing their victims in an unidentified location suspected to be a forest.
The video sighted by BUSINESSINSIDERNG, also have the chief executive officer, Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Ali-Hassan, who was recently released.
The masked terrorists wore military uniforms and stood behind the abductees in the video released on Sunday.
Some of the captives were seen calling on the government to come to their rescue with a lady who identified herself as a student of Kaduna State University.
Another man said he was on his way to Kaduna for eye treatment when he was abducted. The attack on the train between Abuja and Kaduna on March 28 saw the terrorists detonate a bomb on the track and open fire on the train.
As of Monday, April 4, the whereabouts of 168 passengers are still unknown, according to the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
In a statement on Friday, the NRC said of the 362 passengers on board the train when it was attacked, 186 had been confirmed safe.
“Of the 362 validated passengers on board the attacked AK9 train service on March 28, 186 persons on the manifest are confirmed to be safe and at their various homes,” it said.
The NRC said of the remaining 176 passengers, eight have been confirmed dead, leaving the whereabouts of 168 still unknown.
In the first video, the speaker said they decided to release Ali-Hassan out of compassion as a “Ramadan gesture,” and his “advanced age”.
Although the speaker claimed no ransom was paid for Ali-Hassan’s release, family sources said they had to pay money to the captors.
The masked men do not claim affiliation to any group but the recording closely resembles propaganda videos by terrorist groups waging a more than 12-year insurrection in Nigeria’s northeast.
The opening prayer in Arabic by one of the men is the same as in all previous propaganda videos by terrorist groups. The positioning of the gunmen with the hostage is also similar.