November 26, 2022

The publisher of the Desert Herald newspaper, a Kaduna-based newspaper, has given reasons he will withdraw from negotiating the release of kidnap victims in the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.

Tukur Mamu spoke during a chat on Arise TV’s The Morning show on Thursday.

Mr Mamu had helped in negotiating the release of 11 hostages who were abducted from the Kaduna-bound train that was attacked by gunmen in March.

He also helped to secure the release of additional seven hostages in July.

Mr Mamu said he declared his withdrawal from the hostage negotiations nearly two weeks ago.

“First, when doing something as an army of one, if you succeed, the success will be very limited, and in a situation whereby there’s virtually no support from the government,” he said.

Mr Mamu said that he has received threats and the federal government has failed to appreciate his efforts.

He added that negotiating with kidnappers without government support is “very dangerous “ and could cost his life.

‘Give and take’
Mr Tukur said that during the negotiation for the release of the first hostages no ransom was paid except a “give and take.”
“The first batch of the 11 when the government participated actively, I can guarantee you, I can assure you that we did not pay a single Kobo to anybody,” he said.
“We achieve that through dialogue, through negotiation and through the spirit of give and take.”

When he was asked to clarify what he meant by “give and take,” he said that he can’t comment on it because it involved the federal government and the security agencies.

“So I think the right people to answer this question should be the federal government or the military,” he said.

“They know exactly what happened. And they know how we succeeded in securing the release of the first 11.

“Already, you know, I’m under serious pressure from…most of them because they think that the little we are doing, …incapacity of the military, which is not so.
“We’re not criticizing the military. We’re only advising them that this is the right step to take, especially in this very difficult and unpredictable situation.”

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