The details of the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the families of the victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack has emerged.
Naija News earlier reported that the President met with the relatives of the abducted passengers inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Speaking during the meeting, Buhari said the military will not be using lethal force to rescue the remaining captives in order not to ensure their safe return.
In a statement by the Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as saying that his government’s main priority is to ensure the victims are released safely and reunited with their families.
The statement added that the President said that his administration would ensure that the terrorists are arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
He, however, directed the military to take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them in the country.
Buhari said: “I have been informed that at last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the kidnappers, and our determination is to work towards returning these 31 people to their families.
‘‘It is understandable that emotions typically run high. We have received several suggestions about the deployment of lethal military force in extracting those still being held in captivity.
“This option has indeed been considered and evaluated. However, the condition to guarantee a successful outcome and minimise potential collateral damage could not be assured and therefore, that course of action had to be reluctantly discarded.
“My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt. We must take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country.
“Each one of them will be hunted, and pursued and spoken to in the language that they understand.”
Buhari also applauded Nigerians involved in the rescue of the victims, as well as security agencies involved in various operations across the country.
He said: “It is clear that their actions saved many lives and by making the ultimate sacrifice, they must be recognised for their bravery.
‘‘I also would like to use this opportunity to say that we are cognizant of events that have unsettled our citizens in various parts of our nation and in the capital.
‘‘I would like to comfort those who were traumatised by these tragic events and pledge that our response is to protect all Nigerians wherever they are.
‘‘My dear country men and women, we thank God that none of the released prisoners died due to the severe trauma they passed through in the hands of the terrorists, showing that the efforts of the government in securing their release were not in vain as the government continues to do its best to secure the release of the remaining abductees, and ensure the overall security of all citizens in the country.”