The publisher of Desert Herald Magazine, Malam Tukur Mamu, has revealed the reason he opted out of negotiations between terrorists who abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers and the Federal Government.
Mamu stated this on Sunday hours after a video of the terrorists flogging the kidnapped victims and threatening President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, surfaced online.
HausaToday understands that Mamu, the publisher of Desert Herald Magazine, facilitated the release of at least 20 of the victims kidnapped on the Kaduna-bound train attack on March 28, 2022.
In an interview with Daily Trust, Mamu said threats and attempts to blackmail him had forced him to exclude himself from further negotiations.
He said the matter had become delicate as some top government officials had viewed his goodwill as an attempt to expose the government’s weaknesses.
“It is a situation where as an individual, you present yourselves to contribute your own quota towards addressing an issue, with little or no support from government and you are now being threatened.
“Instead of collaborating with me to see that we work together to bring an end to the issue, some of them are even saying that I am exposing their incapacity, which is not the case.
“So, the threat is glaring and attempts to blackmail me are glaring. The lack of interest by the federal government to support those who have willingly given their lives to see this end is what made me to reconsider my position,” he said.
He said before the Kuje Prison break, the terrorists had given a list of over 50 men, which they pencilled down for exchange but through negotiations, he had succeeded in narrowing down the list to about 10 names.
“The names were presented to me and I presented them to the federal government, but there was no result until they became provoked and stated categorically that they have the capacity to release their comrades wherever in the country.”
Mamu said the government made a catastrophic mistake when it failed to check the infiltration of terrorists from the North East into the North West, adding that the terrorists have entered the North West and are now working with bandits.
He said even after he disengaged as an intermediary, the terrorists have continued to send messages to him insisting they will only negotiate with him, not any government official.
Mamu, however, said it was clear that the terrorists have the tendency to molest and even kill if they become provoked, adding that the solution lies in the government’s ability to take the painful decision not to only rescue the victims but to find a peaceful way of managing the terrorists.