Amnesty International Nigeria is deeply concerned over the failure of the Nigerian authorities to secure the release of the abducted Abuja-Kaduna inbound train passengers who have remained in captivity since 28 March 2022.
At least 8 people were killed and another 65 were abducted on 28 March 2022 after armed bandits attacked the Abuja-Kaduna inbound train carrying more than 362 passengers. 50 days after their abduction, the Nigerian government is yet to secure their release.
The train attack, which is the latest in a series of mass abductions and killings by armed groups attacking schools, religious centers, rural communities, and highways, signifies a brutal reign of terror and blatant disregard for human rights which must not be allowed to continue.Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria
“Amnesty International calls on the Nigerian authorities to act swiftly and ensure all the abducted Abuja- Kaduna train passengers and other victims of armed groups’ attacks still in captivity are returned unharmed.”
Few days after the Abuja-Kaduna train attacks, armed bandits called some family members of the victims to inform them about the abduction before releasing video and picture evidence of the victims which include young men and women, children, two pregnant women and elderly people.
A pregnant woman and two other victims have since been released but the fate of the remaining victims remain uncertain, compounded by the failure of the Nigerian authorities to provide real solutions to the heightened insecurity that has left little reason for optimism.
A family member informed Amnesty International that they received a call from the bandits two days after the attack:
Two days after the attack, we received a call from the bandits, they allowed us to speak briefly with our loved ones before collecting the phone to inform us they would call us back for ransom later but it’s almost two months now and the silence is deafening. The more time passes the more anxious we get, it’s really devasting not being able to talk to your loved ones or know how they are doing for close to two months.
Nigerian authorities must bring those responsible for such heinous crime to justice to end the impunity enjoyed by armed bandits across northern Nigeria.
Thousands of victims and their families continue to suffer shocking abuses in the hands of armed groups. Several abducted women including school children have been viciously raped while in captivity.
“The Nigerian authorities must restore the people’s confidence in its ability to secure lives and properties, by promptly addressing the conditions that have provided fertile grounds for insecurity to flourish,” said Osai Ojigho.