The abductors of the abducted Kaduna-Abuja train passengers have released another video where the victims were being flogged by the terrorists.
One of the terrorists in the video vowed to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari, Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru el-Rufai and other prominent Nigerians and destabilise the country if their demands were not met.
The terrorists also threatened to kill and sell off some of the remaining Kaduna-Abuja train passengers in their custody.
He said, “This is our message to the government of Nigeria and just as you have seen these people here, by God’s grace, you will see your leaders; your senators and governors will come before us. These ones you are seeing here, we will keep some as our slaves and sell them off just as our Imam told you in the past.
“Just like the Chibok girls that were sold off, we will equally sell these ones as slaves. If you don’t adhere to our demands, we will kill the ones we need to kill and sell the remaining. By God’s grace, El-Rufai, Buhari, we will bring you here.”
The terrorists had attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, killing eight and kidnapping no fewer than 61 passengers.
The Managing Director of the Bank of the Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, was the first to be released after reportedly paying a N100million ransom on April 7.
Seventy-five days after the incidents, the terrorists released 11 persons held in captivity which according to Tukur Mamu, the negotiator and media consultant to the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, described as was achieved “following a series of robust engagement with the terrorists and with the approval of the Federal Government.”
However, on July 9, seven of the victims were later released after reportedly paying N800 million ransom.
The remaining 43 victims were told to pay N100million to secure the release of their loved ones.
In the two minutes, 50 seconds video, made available to newsmen, yesterday, the male victims were crying as they were being flogged by the terrorists.
One of the victims, a male said the terrorists don’t plan to keep them hostage for more than a week, except for the laxity of the Federal Government in paying up the demanded ransom.
He also called on the international community and the United Nations to come to their rescue as the Nigerian government was not showing any interest in setting them free.
Meanwhile, the Presidency, yesterday, said that the country’s security and defense forces are battle ready to deal with the terrorists anywhere they are.
The Presidency also explained that the dilemma the security forces are having in bombing the location of the perpetrators of Abuja-Kaduna train kidnap was the collateral damage it may cause the innocent people and the outcry such action may generate.
The presidency statement came on the heels of the threat by terrorists to kidnap President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
In a statement titled, “Latest version of terror propaganda and military readiness”, issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the Presidency called on the media not to give much publicity to terror groups.
The statement read: “Terrorist activity using propaganda and the use of violence to force governments to accept or submit to political demands is not new all over world.
“The country’s security and defense forces are not clueless or helpless. They have their plans and ways of doing things which they will not display in the media.
“The dilemmas in dealing with the specific case of train terrorists are manifold: punitive action like the popular call for carpet bombing of the known locations may assuage the desire of an angry public for revenge, but what about the hostages?
“They have committed no offense. All they did was to board a train.
“It suffices to say that the security forces are not relenting. They are acutely aware of their duties, responsibilities and what the nation expects of them. Whenever they embark upon those actions, they expect that the public should provide them with the needed support.
“Terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought by all actors- the military, the civilian population and the communication service providers. This is the only way safe havens of terrorists are eliminated in every part of the world.
“To help the nation against ongoing situation, the media must increase their support for the fight against the exploitation of the internet and social media for terrorist purposes.
“The Presidency, in the meantime wishes to reassure the public that the President has done all, and even more than what is expected of him as Commander-in-Chief by way of morale, material and equipment support to the military and expects nothing short of good results in the immediate.”
Place More Value On Children, Group Urges Govt, Stakeholders
A non profit organisation, CVG-AFrica, has urged the three tiers of government and other stakeholders in the education sector to place more value on children through qualitative education, infrastructure and development of teachers’ capacity.
Its Coordinator, Mr Moses Solanke, made the plea on Monday at a seminar organised for teachers of St Leo’s Primary School, Ibadan, with the theme: “Sustaining a Valuable Primary Education: The Teachers’ Role”.
Solanke said the group’s aim was to reach out to those in the primary schools in order to encourage them because of the challenges inhibiting teaching in schools.
“We see that many teachers are no longer committed and dedicated to their works and this rubs off on the children.
“CVG-Africa is an outreach focusing on children’s education, but that cannot be without focusing on the teachers.
“So, the seminar is to help them to rediscover their roles and boost their commitments in a hostile environment.
“Schools are not funded, the structures are bad; you expected so much from the teachers, but once in a while we need to encourage and charge them to revive their commitment to work,” he said.
The group coordinator said that there was a need to value children to develop African continent.
“You can only place value on the children through qualitative education.
“CVG-Africa is asking the government, schools and other stakeholders in the education sector to place more commitment and value on children for a better society and continent,” he said.
In a lecture on the theme of the event, the Coordinator, Students and Youths Discipleship Outreach (SAYDO), Mr Elijah Olatunji, said, “No nation can be greater than her teachers; and there is no generation that can be different from what its teachers are.”
Olatunji enjoined teachers to see their roles as a calling and pour themselves into it with dedication and commitment to make a positive impact in the lives of their students.
According to him, it is hard to imagine what the world would look like without teachers.
“Teachers at all levels are indispensable in the society; from the nursery and primary school level to tertiary level; even in the vocational apprenticeship area,” he said.
Olatunji described teachers as the most powerful influencers, saying that teachers’ roles are crucial to bring about a change and development in any society.
“Teaching profession is not just a job; it is a calling and also a passion; a calling to affect lives; a passion to mould lives, to bend and straighten lives at the prime of their years. It is a calling as a foundation layer and builder,” he said.
The outreach coordinator advocated teaching methodology that would address the peculiarities of every child and the one that discovers and enhances their potential, saying, “no child is a dullard” .
Menstrual Hygiene: HILWA, UNICEF Train 200 Principals, Teachers
A group, the High Level Women Advocate (HILWA), in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has begun training of 200 female principals, Head teachers and teachers in Katsina State on menstrual hygiene management.
The HILWA Chairperson, Hajiya Mariya Abdullahi, said during the opening of the three-day training on Sunday in Katsina, that the selection of the topic ‘`Menstrual Hygiene” was necessary.
She explained that the topic was purposely selected because of its sensitivity and importance especially to the girl child.
“We selected these principals and teachers for the training, because the girls are directly under their watch.
“Therefore, it is very important to train them so that they can also teach the girl child.
“This menstrual hygiene is important for the girl child to learn right from their childhood.
“Most girls find themselves in this situation without being prepared for it.
“So, we are preparing them in the event they see anything like this happening to them, they should not take it as a surprise”, she said.
She said that though parents ought to teach their daughters about menstraution, but that if they howver failed to do so in their homes, the girls should be taught in school.
Mariya said that the group had the Girl’s Education Project (GEP-3) benefiting schools in the state to assess the level of successes so far recorded.
Also speaking, the HILWA Secretary, Hajiya Wasila Sani-Saulawa, said the training was targeting all principals of girls secondary schools in the state.
She added that the project was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal and state governments.
According to Sani-Saulawa, the training for the principals is also funded from the GEP-3 funding in Katsina State.
Sani-Saulawa said that 100 participants were drawn from the Katsina zone, while 50 each from Funtua and Daura zones would also benefit.
She explained that at the end of the training, the participants would not only step it down to their girl students, but also their children, family members and their community members.
According her, HILWA, since inception has been involved with the girl child education in Katsina state because the state is among the states with low number of girls in schools.
ACRESAL Critical To Lifting 100m Nigerians From Poverty-FG
The Federal Government says the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACRESAL) project is critical to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
The Honourable Minister for Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the ACRESAL technical workshop in Lagos.
The Tide’s source reports that the workshop is organised for the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources in conjunction with the World Bank.
“The ACRESAL Project is one of the central components in President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategy of ensuring environmental sustainability.
“And improving community livelihoods toward lifting 100 million people out of poverty,” Abdullahi said.
He said that his passion for the ACRESAL project exposed him to further understand the environment portfolio and its link with the broader society.
“I am also very passionate about ACRESAL. It is the first project that heralds my assumption of duties when Mr President redeployed me to the Federal Ministry of Environment.
“I saw the political will and desire of the three ministries in ensuring that targets are meant,” Abdullahi said.
According to him, ACRESAL is all about sustainable land management.
He said the ministry was deliberate in inviting stakeholders from the National Parks Service and the Great Green Wall Agency to engage with the World Bank to ensure the success of the project.
The Minister urged the Project Management Units (PMUs) from the different states to be ‘diplomatically independent’ in their relationship with their state governors.
He added that the ACRESAL project had the mandate to ensure land restoration, wetlands cultivation for the improvement of the land to make them fit for cultivation.
He continued that the ACRESAL would strengthen Nigeria’s long-term enabling environment for an integrated climate-resilient landscape.
“I am here to motivate and energise you, and also to encourage you to deliberate on the Draft Annual Work plan prepared by the various PMUs and clears same for onward transmission to the steering committee for approval.
“This is the much-needed step that will kick start disbursement of funds by the World Bank for implementation activities to begin,” Abdullahi said.
He expressed gratitude to Dr Joy Agene and her team from the World Bank on their efforts toward the full implementation of the ACReSAL project.
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