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The presidency says negotiations are ongoing to rescue those abducted on the Kaduna-Abuja rail line earlier in the year.
Presidential aide Garba Shehu said this on Friday while reacting to the suspension of the resumption of operations on the rail track.
“Of course, we are aware that there has been resistance from family members of those who have been taken captive,” he said when he featured on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“This is expected. This then should act as a pressure on all of the people who are involved in the ongoing discussion with the terrorists to ensure a safe release of those that are being held.”
He explained that the government is committed to ensuring that those affected by the attack and still in captivity will be released alive even though the negotiations might be difficult.
“The position of the government has been stated and restated over time that the success of any operation would be determined by the number of recovery of human beings alive and well; not at the return of dead bodies,” he maintained.
Shehu said the government wants normalcy to return to the Kaduna-Abuja route, noting that there is an improvement in the security of the area.
“Yes, there is an improvement in security. The air surveillance has been announced by the former Minister of Transportation (Rotimi Amaechi) and the President, as far as we know, has okayed the electronic monitoring and surveillance platform that would ensure that there is the tracking, far and near, of all that is going on along the rail track; not only between Kaduna and Abuja but even Ibadan and Lagos,” the media aide stated.
“So, I believe that people are doing what it would take to put those appliances in place so that total safety would be ensured.”
To buttress his point about the safety of the rail track, he said he would have been on board had the services resumed as planned.
“If the trains had resumed, I would have been on the train because I believe that I have received enough assurances from the Ministry of Transportation and security services that they are safe,” the presidential aide said.