Northern Nigerian Breaking News

March 28: How we were kidnapped in Abuja-Kaduna train attack – Victim

Today, 28th March 2023 is exactly one year since the Abuja-Kaduna train was attacked by bandits. During the attack, at least eight passengers were killed in the incident, while 168 others were kidnapped or declared missing.

Dr Mustapha Umar Imam one of the abductees, in an exclusive interview with SOLACEBASE narrated how traumatizing the experience was,’’ incidentally, I still recalled vividly how the attack occurred.’’

‘’I had just returned from the United Arab Emirates and was heading to Sokoto. The two hours journey from Abuja was just a few minutes to Kaduna when the attack occurred.’’

‘’It was just 10 minutes ride for us to get to rigasa train station when we started hearing gunshots that lasted for about 15 minutes, we were escorted out of the train by the terrorist where we were taken to the bandits camp.”

According to Imam, ’’When we were shepherd into the bandit’s camp, they were celebrating and happy that people died in the incident.’’

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‘’We were barely fed by the bandits, the foods they were giving us were for survival not for us to be comfortable.

‘’They mostly feed us with maize flour (Tuwo), occasionally, they fed us with rice and beans with slaughtering of cows. But we discovered that whenever they do that, it was for a purpose and that was mostly for special sacrifice.’’

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Making emphasis he stated that “I always try as much as possible to forget what happened, but I find it difficult to but always accept to share my experience with others. I wouldn’t wish the same experience to anyone, not even my enemy.”

“This is something that drains you not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally. I am still battling with my mental health up until this moment.”

Explaining further to SOLACEBASE, Imam added that “I was trying to convince myself that I did not need any psychological therapy, as time goes by I realized I couldn’t cope with my mental state.”

“These people that abducted us were master manipulators, these were people that were experts in spreading lies. At one point, they were even telling us none of our relatives were interested in getting us released. So most of us were actually very shocked when we came back home and saw that these were the relatives that couldn’t sleep nor eat because of our situation.”

On the situation at the bandit’s camp, ‘’ Most of the bandits were people who were serving as security guards in Abuja and some areas in Kaduna. It is sad that many among them were jobless, illiterate, and grew up from almajiris or out-of-school children.”

‘’So they were of the view that the society was not fair to them, hence they were

On the efforts of the federal government after their release, Imam who regained his freedom on August 2nd, 2022, expressed sadness that the government has virtually not done anything for them.

‘’I have to be very honest with you, the federal government has not supported us in any way, although I am not complaining but I know a lot of us that sold all they had to regain their freedom.’’                                                                However, proffering views to prevent the recurrence of the incident, Dr. Imam advocates addressing the issue of poverty and out-of-school children.’’

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