By our reporter| Abdulmalik Atta, a member of the presidential committee set up to facilitate the release of train passengers abducted in Kaduna by bandits on Friday, said Tukur Mamu, the arrested lead negotiator for the victims “betrayed” the federal government during negotiations with the bandits.
Atta, who spoke on the panel’s activities when he appeared on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, disclosed that the kidnappers did not demand ransom at first, but that Mamu “put money issue” into the negotiation.
Tukur Mamu, an aide to Ahmad Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric, was involved in negotiations for the release of the abducted passengers, he, however, was arrested in September and had been detained by the DSS.
“It has been six months and one week, but we thank God everything has come to an end now, thanks to the support from the federal government through the office of the chief of defence staff,” Atta said.
“We were able to go into the bush and bring back the remaining 23 families, not through our making but because somebody betrayed the committee and the government. That’s in the person of Tukur Mamu, who did everything within his reach to thwart the efforts the government put in place — all in his interest.
“As we all know, he’s in the hands of the government now. Alhamdulillah, all the family members are back.
“The bandits never asked for money ab initio, but he put money issue into the whole thing and derailed the process and kept everybody for the past six months.
“We just parted away with about $200,000. Thank God the CDS took it upon himself, and put in place a committee that never asked for one kobo.
“Every sacrifice being done so far has been personal towards ensuring the release of the victims. I am happy to tell you that I worked with credible members of the highest order.
“If I have my way, all of them will be given national honour because we had to risk our lives, went into the bush, slept in the bush, and heard the complaints of these people. Even though we knew what they did was wrong, we had to engage them.
“Going forward, our security agents must synergise their operations and the government should open more rooms for engagement.”