Five hostages who had been held captive by bandits since March 28 while riding an Abuja-Kaduna train have been set free.
The victims were reportedly freed on Tuesday, according to Premium Times., quoting Tukur Mamu, a member of the negotiating team.
Among those who were set free were Professor Mustapha Umar Imam from the Usman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital in Sokoto, Akibu Lawal, Abubakar Ahmed Rufai, Mukthar Shu’aibu Sidi and Aminu Sharif.
However, it is unknown whether or not a ransom was paid.
37 people have so been released while 34 still remain in captivity, Mamu told the media.
Professor Mustapha Umar Imam, associate Professor of Medical Biochemistry, described their five-month captivity as agonizing and urged the government to rescue others who, he said, were surviving in terrible conditions.
“We were well for the last two weeks, but we were starving for the first three and a half months. To say I was hungry is an understatement. There were days when we only ate once. Imagine there were one-year-old children and a 90-year-old person who only needed to be fed once a day. You can imagine “, he told a journalist.
He said that one of the captives fell into a malaria-induced coma owing to a lack of medication, which he said could have been treated with less than N1,000.
” I was actually the camp’s Medical Doctor. “I was treating both prisoners and bandits….”
He stated that, while he did not see any sexual molestation, some of the women reported that attempts were made.
On March 28, gunmen attacked a train travelling from Abuja to Kaduna. While several were killed, dozens of passengers were kidnapped.