Thamina Mahmood, one of the passengers kidnapped on the Abuja-Kaduna train by terrorists on March 28 has recounted her ordeal.
Naija News reports that Thamina was one of the two pregnant women abducted by Boko Haram insurgents during the attack on the Kaduna-bound train.
Thamina, who was recently released because of her delicate condition, recounted her ordeal at the hands of the insurgents in an interview with Daily Trust.
According to the released victim, the train was about 15 to 20 minutes to Kaduna when it was attacked by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Thamina added that the gunmen invaded the train and asked the passengers to lie down, adding that they were then led into the bush.
She disclosed that over 60 kidnapped passengers trekked long distances in the bush with no food and water.
The pregnant lady, however, said they got to their destination after trekking and climbing motorcycles for four days.
She said: “We were on the 6 pm train travelling to Kaduna from Abuja on the 28th of March. It was about 15 to 20 minutes to Kaduna that we felt the train made an unusual movement. Then we heard a sound that was later said to be a bomb explosion.
“From then on, so many things happened. The only thing I can remember was how we were asked to just lie down. There were sounds of gunshots and we were then led into the bush along with others in the coach.
“We trekked long distances in the bush – over 60 of us. At some places, we were carried on motorcycles. After four days, we reached where they kept us, deep inside the forest. They gave us food and water. We didn’t know why they took us; we didn’t even know who kidnapped us. It was some days later that we realized they were Boko Haram fighters.”
Thamina stated the terrorists provided medication for those that were wounded, adding that the gunmen provided food and shelter for the captives.
She said: “They told us that they were not after us and didn’t need anything from us. They said what they wanted is from the government. That was why they were using us to call the attention of the government to them and offer them what they really want. But honestly, they didn’t maltreat us; all I can remember is when they flogged the men once. From then on, they did no harm to any of us.
“They provided medication for those that were wounded and even injections. They gave us food and allowed us to pray. They even provided hijabs for some of us that didn’t have one for prayers.
“We were initially sleeping on the bare ground but they later provided sacks to the vulnerable, then tarpaulin and blankets to more people to use against the cold and rain.
“They asked for what I required of medications and provided all for my use. In a nutshell, they took care of us, especially me (with pregnancy) and other children.”
She, however, denied media reports that she delivered in captivity, stressing that the gunmen released me after seven weeks.
“They released me after seven weeks. They didn’t collect a kobo from my relatives. I complained to them that my delivery time was fast approaching and I can’t deliver on my own, I have to undergo an operation. Then they said they will get back to me.
After a few days, when they confirmed that I cannot deliver by myself, they decided to set me free. They even told me that my money cannot free me from them, but that they had pity on me and the situation I’m in and let me go,” she added.