Niger  Confirms Retired Army General’s Wife, Children among  Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack Victims

Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State Government has confirmed that a son and daughter-in-law, grandchildren and other family members of a former Military Governor of Benue State, General Idris Garba, were among those abducted in the Abuja-Kaduna train.

The state government said that the former military governor, who is also the Chairman of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, had his son Mr. Abubakar Garba, and his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Maryam, kidnapped by the terrorists that attacked the train more than 100 days ago.

Other members of the family that were kidnapped by the bandits included the four children of Abubakar, Ibrahim, Imran and Zainab.

The victims are still in the custody of their abductors.

The confirmation of their kidnap was made when the Secretary to the Government of Niger State, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, who paid a visit to General Garba, who is also the Wazirin Lapai, to commiserate with him on behalf of the Niger State Governor, Mr. Abubakar Sani Bello.

A statement on the issue was released to newsmen in Minna on Saturday by the Information of the Government Scribe, Mr. Tanko Lawal.

A source close the state government, however, told THISDAY that the Garbas’ kept the incident to themselves until last week when the information leaked to the government.

Governor Sani Bello, while commiserating with the family observed, that “the Abuja -Kaduna train attack by bandits marked another sad moment in the fight against terrorism we are facing in our dear country.”

He appealed to all families whose loved ones were abducted to have confidence in the ability of government “to do all that is needed to be done to rescue their dear ones.”

The governor lamented the incessant insecurity in the state where several people have been maimed, killed and many others abducted and assured that the state government would leave no stone unturned to arrest the security situation in the state.

“I have directed all security agencies to embark on the speedy rescue of the kidnapped persons and by God’s grace they will be rescued,” the governor said.

Bello described his administration as “a responsible government,” adding that “we shall expedite action in ensuring the safety of all the citizens at all times.”

He told those engaged in the nefarious activities that government would not condone or allow any act of sabotage or indiscriminate abuse of privilege to jeopardise the fragile security situation in the state.

A member of the Garba’s family that responded on behalf of the traumatised former governor, Mr. Aliyu Idris Garba, told Governor Bello that the agonising incident “is causing the family sleepless nights” and urged the state government to do everything possible to rescue the kidnapped victims.

Garba commended Bello for the visit and concern over the unfortunate incident.

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