The families of the kidnapped victims of the Abuja-Kaduna-bound train attack have expressed their willingness to negotiate with the terrorists in order to secure the release of their loved ones.
The leader of the families of the victims, Dr. Abdulfatai Jimoh, stated this in an interview with The PUNCH in Kaduna on Wednesday.
Jimoh said the families are ready and willing to dialogue with the terrorists since the Muhammadu Buhari government has failed to free their loved ones from their captivity.
He stated that the federal government has not reached out to them regarding efforts to secure the release of the victims since the terrorists said they can only discuss with the government.
He said, “The situation is still the same. There is no communication from them(bandits). The last time they called like I said was our relations that we spoke to. We have not spoken with them (bandits) at all.
“From what they (terrorists) said, it was the government they want to talk to so that’s why they have not called us. But assuming there is an option, we would have explored the option.
“They (terrorists) are not calling anybody and we can’t stretch them. It’s only the government that can talk to them.”
Jimoh said the families of the victims will gladly dialogue with the terrorists should they reach out to them for negotiation.
He said: “We would because there is nothing that we can do. We don’t have the power to force them to release our relatives.
“If that’s the only thing they want, we will discuss it with them. We understand the government is discussing with them and we want to believe that the government is talking to them. We just want the whole process to come to an end successfully and quickly.
“Just like you asked if it’s an option to negotiate with the bandits, you know, for now, it’s not an option. I mean, talking with the bandits. We don’t have that option yet but of course, if there is an option and it’s the only option that we have, we will discuss it with them.
“For now, we don’t have that option because we can’t reach them and they can’t reach us. It’s not the preferred option. If it is the option they have that can solve our problem, fine.”