Secure release of abducted citizens, Reps tell Buhari

House of Reps

The House of Representatives has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to ensure the timely release of passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train abducted by terrorists.

The lower chamber urged the President to “expedite action to secure the release of the remaining 51 Nigerians kidnapped in the Abuja-Kaduna train attack and all other Nigerians held hostage by bandits and terrorists across the country.”

In addition, the parliament urged the Federal Government to set up a high-powered inter-agency panel to coordinate efforts to ensure the release of abductees across the country, as well as assist their families.

Furthermore, the lawmakers mandated the House Committees on Army, National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance with the resolutions.

The resolutions were based on the unanimous adoption of a motion titled, ‘Need to secure the release of the kidnapped Abuja- Kaduna train passengers and other Nigerians held captives in the country.’

Messrs Bamidele Salam, Julius Ihonvbere, Aminu Goro, Nnolim Nnaji, Shehu Kakale, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, Benjamin Mzondu, Jaha Ahmed, Mansur Manu-Soro, Abubakar Yabo and Kingsley Uju jointly sponsored the motion.

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The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, who disclosed that the leadership of the House met with families of the victims on Wednesday, described how badly he felt when he spoke about the trauma the relatives were going through.

Gbajabiamila said, “As a House, we need to come together and put pressure on our security agencies to get the victims out. Eleven persons have regained freedom so far and there are still over 50 in captivity. Quite honestly, one cannot but feel the pains of the families, friends and relatives of the victims that we met yesterday.

“I commend Bamidele (Salam) for his work and efforts so far in this regard. And I think as a House we should come together and do whatever we can as an institution to encourage the agencies doing their best but still need to do more to get these people out.”

Moving the motion, Salam cited Section 14(2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution which states that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, while Section 17 (2) (b) further states that the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised and human dignity maintained and enhanced.

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The lawmaker noted that in the last 10 years, terrorism, banditry, kidnappings and other forms of violent crimes have become “a security epidemic” in different parts of the country.

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