According to a report by The Nation, an expectant mother and her husband, a couple and two sisters are among those being held by terrorists who attacked an Abuja-Kaduna train.
Aliyu Mahmud, a relative of the seven-month pregnant woman, was among the victims’ families who staged a peaceful protest at the Radio House in Abuja yesterday.
The protesters, who bore placards, spoke with reporters.
Terrorists on March 28 blew up rail tracks on the Abuja-Kaduna route, killing eight passengers.
No fewer than 41 people were injured. Many were abducted.
Of those abducted, Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) Alwan Ali-Hassan was freed on Wednesday.
The terrorists threatened to kill the other hostages if the government does not do “what we want”.
The families urged the Federal Government to double its efforts in rescuing their loved ones.
The Defence Headquarters yesterday assured Nigerians that it was working towards ending all forms of terrorism.
Mahmud said: “I have my sister who is seven months pregnant with her husband.
“Words cannot explain what they are going through and what we are going through.
“Please, the government should do the needful and let this come to an end as soon as possible.
“They should try as much as possible to reach out to the perpetrators and rescue our loved ones.
“There are children there, pregnant women, the sick, the aged and only God knows what they are going through.
“They have been in captivity for ten days, so you can only imagine what they are going through and how it is affecting g us.
“Whatever we do, we think of them. When we eat, we think of them. When we sleep, anything we do, we think of them.
“We are pleading with the government to please do the needful so that this situation will come to an end as soon as possible.”
Another protester, Aminu Uthman, said it had been some difficult ten days since his brother and wife were abducted.
“My immediate younger brother and his wife are amongst the victims.
“It is a nightmare and the most difficult ten days I have has in my life. I cannot sleep or eat. A lot of things are going wrong.
“The bandits called only once and they gave him the phone to speak to us. They are yet to make any request but they called and he is with them.
“We voted for this government because of insecurity. We had the trust that they would address insecurity.
“This protest is not for the family members alone, it is for Nigerians generally. This thing can happen to anybody,” he said.
Another relative, Hajia Idayat Yusuf, pleaded for the release of her two sisters.
She said: “It has been hell for me. My two sisters from the same parents were abducted.
“Some of those abducted have underlying ailments such as ulcers, diabetes, hypertension and there is no medication. We are really concerned.
“In the last ten days, it has been hell, we cannot sleep, and we cannot eat. We are fasting but we are fasting abnormally.
“We are really begging that the government should come to our rescue.
“Please, the government should come to the aid of those that are alive.
“We are sorry for those that have lost their lives. We sympathise with the families of those in the hospital but for those alive, at least, bring them back.
“We are appealing to the government to do something.”
Yusuf said the families had received assurances that the victims would be rescued.
“We were told that the government was making a serious effort to rescue them.
“They also assured us that no life was lost among those kidnapped and that we should keep praying for their release.
“But we do not know the efforts of the security agencies. That is why we are here for the government to tell us the position of things.
“They should sincerely tell us what is happening because our loved ones are there.”
Minister of State for Transportation, Ms. Gbemisola Saraki, said security agencies were working hard to free the victims.
Speaking at a ministerial briefing, she said: “The Ministry of Transportation is working with security agencies. It will be premature for us to say too much before the outcome of the exercise.
“I assure you that it is a comprehensive exercise and we implore each and all of us to exercise patience pending the outcome.
“We are very concerned about those kidnapped and we assure you that the security agencies are doing the best they can.
“Our hearts are with families of the deceased.”