Thirty days after the abduction of the Abuja-Kaduna-bound train passengers, relatives and friends of the victims said they are still traumatized by the incident.
They noted that the government had yet to reach out to them one month after the incident, noting that life has not been the same without their loved ones.
In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, Dr. Abdulfatai Jimoh, leader of the families of the victims in Kaduna on Wednesday, said they were willing to discuss with the terrorists if that remains the only option to see their loved ones release unhurt.
According to the chairman, the government is yet to reach out to the families as to the extent they have gone for the release of the victims since the terrorists said they can only discuss with the government.
Jimoh said the families were in the dark and worried over the development, especially as the terrorists preferred to negotiate with the government.
He said, “The situation is still the same. There is no communication from them(bandits). The last time they called like I said was our relations that we spoke to. We have not spoken with them (bandits) at all.
“From what they (terrorists) said, it was the government they want to talk to so that’s why they have not called us. But assuming there is an option, we would have explored the option.
“They (terrorists) are not calling anybody and we can’t stretch them. It’s only the government that can talk to them.”
When further asked if they will jump on the option should the terrorists reach out to them for negotiation, he said: “we would because there is nothing that we can do. We don’t have the power to force them to release our relatives.
“If that’s the only thing they want, we will discuss it with them. We understand the government is discussing with them and we want to believe that the government is talking to them. We just want the whole process to come to an end successfully and quickly.
“Just like you asked if it’s an option to negotiate with the bandits, you know, for now, it’s not an option. I mean, talking with the bandits. We don’t have that option yet but of course, if there is an option and it’s the only option that we have, we will discuss it with them.
“For now, we don’t have that option because we can’t reach them and they can’t reach us. It’s not the preferred option. If it is the option they have that can solve our problem, fine.”
Jimoh appealed to the bandits to release their loved ones unhurt as they (abductees) were innocent of what transpired between them and the government
He added, “We plead with them to release our relatives because these are innocent people and they don’t know what the terrorists want from the government. We don’t even know what’s happening between them. So, we are pleading with them to release our relatives. That’s just what we can say.
“Our relatives are in captivity for 30 days today. So, you can imagine the condition they are in. They said it’s the government they want to talk to.”
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Pyrates disown viral video on 2023 presidential candidate
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity has distanced itself from lyrics of a viral video targeting one of the presidential candidates.
Aside from disowning the video, the group stated that those who canvass it do not represent the opinion or position of the Pyrates Confraternity and therefore “dissociate ourselves from any insinuations or misrepresentation, the video conveys.”
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a press statement: Setting The Records Straight- Official Position Not in authorised Videos, noted that as a responsible organisation, it is mindful of the need to be circumspect by advocating for good governance without heating the polity.
According to Owoaje, Pyrates Confraternity have provided direct intervention and thought leadership on community and national issues using direct action or press releases with 100 of such attributed to nominated and authorised representatives.
Owoaje, while insisting that any suggestion that the video represents the outcome of a considered reflected “political opinion of the organisation is mischievous, misleading and out rightly false,” reiterated that “since our founding 70 years ago, we have never been politically affiliated or involved in electioneering.”
“We have never had a preferred candidate in any political election. We are not supporting or against any candidate in this 2023 election. Some of our members belong to different political parties and can support any candidate unconditionally in the knowledge that political activities at the level of partisanship are not allowed within our corporate entity.
“For the enthronement of democracy and democratic values of the freedom of political choice in Nigeria, our organisation and members opposed the military dictatorship. We joined hands with other civil societies to end military rule in Nigeria. Like several Nigerians, many of our members paid the ultimate price for the democracy we enjoy today. We fought for democratic principles as symbolised by June 12. Many of us were hounded into exile, imprisoned, tortured, businesses and employment destroyed, and our families terrorised by the military dictatorship for speaking truth to power.
“As an organisation, we cherish these democratic principles and reject any action of persons who will use songs or videos to tarnish the non-political stance of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) inadvertently or wilfully. We denounce the political clickbait merchants desperately pursuing social media and economic mileage through deliberate misinformation about our organisation. They do not represent our values as ensconced in our ideals.”
Owoaje explained that the organisation’s desire is for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) supported by security agencies to conduct free, fair and transparent elections and has launched a campaign through https://www.ourvotescount.org.ng for that purpose.
“Finally, we reaffirm that all official positions of the National Association of Seadogs are hosted on our website, and social media handles. Our formal opinions are not disseminated on videos that have no official origin or organisational authorisation.”
Security: Oluwo Meets Security Operatives, Fulanis, Bororo, Others
As part of his commitment to checkmate insecurity in Iwoland, the Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, HIM Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi,today, met with security operatives, the Fulanis and Bororo in his palace to forestall further case of kidnapping in the territory.
The security men comprising the police, civil defense and Amotekun corps urged the heads of Fulanis and Bororo to assist them by giving adequate information to trail criminal infiltration mingling with them in the bush.
Oluwo described security as the life wire of every functioning community as he called for collaborative effort to curtail kidnapping case in Iwoland.
The area commander, ACP Omololu further enjoined individuals in the society to be security conscious and assist the security by providing security tips to aid effective policing. ACP Omololu disclosed his plan to convene an elaborate security stakeholders meeting.
The president of Iwo Board of Trustees (IBOT), Prof. Lai Olurode, pledged unalloyed support for optimum performance of the security agencies.
CBN, NIBSS SET TO TRANSFORM THE AFRICAN PAYMENT ECOSYSTEM WITH THE BRAND UNVEIL OF DOMESTIC CARD SCHEME
The CBN announced in 2022 that it will be launching a National Domestic Card Scheme in conjunction with the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc, the Bankers Committee and other financial ecosystem stakeholders.
The new Domestic Card Scheme is a robust in-country Scheme tailored to address the specific requirements of Nigeria’s payment industry and provide innovative offerings tailored to the Nigerian market and beyond. The Scheme will transform the domestic and African payment landscape through the promotion of innovation in the payment, enhancement of interoperability domestically and internationally and improvement in the suite of products and solutions offerings by banks and other financial institutions such as debit, credit, virtual, loyalty and tokenized cards.
The National Domestic Card set to be delivered to over 200 million Nigerians offers unique value propositions through enhanced data sovereignty and transaction security, better pricing opportunities, reduced demand for FX, enhanced financial access and support of the growth of a robust and inclusive digital economy, amongst others.
The brand unveil of the new Domestic Card Scheme by CBN and NIBSS will be take place on Thursday 26th January at a virtual event that will be graced by critical stakeholders in the financial ecosystem such as the Governor of the CBN, Deputy Governors of the CBN, the Director General Securities and Exchange Commission and Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation. Also expected at the event are representatives of multilateral agencies, Switches and Processors, Payment Service Banks, Mobile Money Operators, Payment Terminal Service Providers, Payment Solutions Service Providers, card manufacturers and industry associations.
The launch of this historic Scheme presents a new dawn in the Nigerian payment ecosystem and unveils the unique opportunities presented by the Nigerian retail landscape. It is indeed the beginning of a new era, charting the future of the payment landscape as the first Domestic Card Scheme to be launched on the African continent.
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