BY MIKE OCHONMA
Nigeria’s National Assembly Joint Committee on Land Transport has called on the Chinese government to help rescue 62 passengers abducted from the Abuja-Kaduna passengers’ train on March 28, 2022 by suspected terrorists.
Abdulfatai Buhari, senator and chairman, senate committee on land transport, while addressing journalists on Wednesday at the end of an oversight visit by the committee to the Obafemi Awolowo Train Station, Moniya, Ibadan said that it is embarrassing that 47 days after some passengers were kidnapped from the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train, they are yet to be rescued.
“Today makes it exactly 47 days that some Nigerians were abducted from the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train, yet nothing has been done to rescue them,” Buhari said.
He disclosed that last Tuesday, some families of the abducted passengers that are still in captivity met with the Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and the accusation was that we the lawmakers are not doing anything about rescuing their relatives in captivity.
“What effort is the Chinese government putting in place to assist the Nigerian government in rescuing these people?” He asked?
According to him, the Chinese government makes money from the many rail projects that are being handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) here in Nigeria, so asking them to help us is not out of place.
Buhari lamented that Nigerians are no longer ready to listen to the number of passengers that have been carried by the trains since the so called rail projects handled by the CCECC were commissioned.
Nigerians are not interested in what has been put in the various stations by the CCECC. What we want to hear now is the effort being put into rescuing those people in captivity.
“If a Chinese national was among those people abducted, we know that the Chinese government would have come to rescue her citizen or citizens no matter what it will involve for them to regain freedom,” he said.
The National Assembly chair on land transport recalled that when an American was kidnapped, the Americans came and took him away from where he was held captive. We know that with the level of technology that the Chinese have, even without leaving Beijing, they can help us track where these people are, or even give us enough intelligence that would aid their rescue.
“Imagine one of the abducted passengers giving birth while in captivity. This is unfair to Nigerians. When the Chinese came to help us build the trains, we were happy because it changed the way Nigerians use rail transport. However, the March 28 terrorists attack on the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train has succeeded in turning what gave us joy initially to sorrow.”
When asked if his call that the Chinese government intervene in the rescue of the 62 kidnapped passengers is a loss of confidence in Nigeria’s effort in rescuing them, he stated that Nigeria cannot compare with China when it comes to technology deployment.
“This is not an issue about loss of confidence or not. We are talking about human lives in danger. It’s been 47 days, and these people are still captive.
“You cannot compare the technology at the disposal of the Chinese with Nigeria. Even if they won’t show us, let them help us from their base in Beijing,” the senator noted.