A video of a bank executive who was among an undefined number of passengers kidnapped by gunmen who ambushed a train in northwest Nigeria and murdered at least eight people has been released by same gunmen.
Last week’s attack on a train between Abuja and Kaduna marked a significant increase in violence in northwest Nigeria, which has been blamed on militarized crime gangs locally known as bandits.
The director of Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Ali-Hassan, is surrounded by four armed masked men in military clothes confronting the camera in a video leaked online on Wednesday.
They urged the government to comply with his kidnappers’ requests in order to secure the release of other hostages who “are in a dire situation.”
Family members verified Ali-Hassan was the man in the video and that he was freed by the gunmen on Wednesday.
The footage, which was recorded in an obscure woodland region with an armoured truck in the backdrop, has not been claimed by any single party.
The gunmen make no claim to belonging to an organization, but the tape mimics propaganda movies provided by armed groups fighting to create an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria’s northeast for more than a decade.
The introductory prayer in Arabic by one of the disguised guys is the same as in all of Boko Haram’s and the Islamic West Africa Province’s (ISWAP) prior propaganda films .
The gunmen’s stance in relation to the hostage is likewise characteristic of such videos.
The speaker in the video stated they chose to free the captive out of compassion as a “Ramadan gesture” and because of his “old age,” alluding to the Muslim holy month of fasting.
- Nigeria: Gunmen Attacked Passenger Train bound for Kaduna
Despite the speaker’s claim that no ransom was paid for Ali-release, Hassan’s family sources allege that the kidnappers demanded money.
These gunmen opened fire after blowing up the railway, according to survivors of the March 28 train attack.
The whereabouts of 168 passengers are still unknown one week after the train attack, according to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
However it’s unclear how many have gone home and not informed officials.
Criminal gangs have terrorised towns in northwest and central Nigeria, murdering locals and kidnapping for ransom, as well as stealing property.
Unfortunately, their kidnappings and attacks have increased.
Local officials and observers are concerned about expanding possible links with Boko Haram or other similar organizations, despite the fact that the bandits are driven only by financial gain.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES