Governor El-Rufai

We knew about Boko Haram’s plans to attack Abuja-Kaduna train — El-Rufai

NEWS DIGEST – Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Friday disclosed that the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on Monday was carried out by Boko Haram insurgents in collaboration with some bandits operating in Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, Sokoto and Kebbi states.

Mr El-Rufai made the disclosure while speaking with the State House correspondents shortly after updating President Muhammadu Buhari on security developments in his state, following the Monday night’s terror attack on Kaduna bound train.

The governor, who was sober about recent happenings in his state, told the correspondents that the president had reassured him that drastic measures were being taken to check the activities of terrorists and bandits in Kaduna state and beyond.

According to him, security agencies have been making frantic efforts to rescue victims of Monday night’s attack on a Kaduna bound train, from the hands of their abductors.

Mr El-Rufa’i, who spoke in Hausa language, emphasised that the gunmen are not kidnappers but members of the Boko  Haram terrorists group working in collaboration with bandits.

“These ones are not the usual kidnappers but members of Boko who are collaborating with bandits.

”So we were thinking they will ask for a huge ransom form the state government, not the families of their victims.

”So far, they have asked for ransom from just one of the families that were contacted.

“As far as the Kaduna state government is concerned, we have not changed our stand on payment of ransom, so, even if they seek for that from us, we will not pay because we are not ready to do so,” he maintained.

Mr El-Rufa’i revealed that the state government had received intelligence report that the gunmen were going to strike on the rail line and had intimated the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, on the matter, but no action was taken.

“We think this thing happened because we have written twice to the NRC, advising that trains on the Kaduna route should not embark on night trips because we have reports that Boko Haram were in town and they plan to attack the train at night using explosive devices,” he said.

He stressed the need for massive bombing of all bandit-infected enclaves including forest areas in the North West and North Central parts of the country.

Recall that the Kaduna-bound train, which left Abuja at 6 p.m. on Monday, was attacked by suspected terrorists at about 7.45 p.m., just about 15 minutes’ drive before Kaduna.

Eight persons had been officially confirmed dead, 46 hospitalised and several others kidnapped following the attack.

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