The Presidency has explained why it cannot order the military to rain bombs on the forest where Kaduna train attack hostages are being held.
It said that doing so will kill the innocent victims whose only crime was boarding train.
This was contained in a statement yesterday by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant on media and publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, in a quick response to a new video released by the train attack terrorists in which they threatened, among other things, to kill some of their captives, sell off some others and kidnap both President Buhari and Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai if their demands are not met quickly enough.
Yesterday the terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, killing nine persons and abducting over 60 passengers, released the new video where the victims were being tortured.
Also, they threatened to abduct and kill President Buhari and Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
But Shehu denied insinuations that the country’s security and defence forces are clueless or helpless. He said that the terrorists were trying to use propaganda and violence to force government to accept or submit to political demands – a strategy that is not new all over world.
He revealed that the security forces have their plans and ways of doing things which they will not display in the media. He noted that using the air force to bomb the kidnappers’ location would destroy the same persons that government and Nigerians want rescued alive.
“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 offence. All they did was to board a train,” he said.
“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.”
Shehu urged the public and the media to support the troops in tackling the terrorists.
“Whenever they embark upon those actions, they expect that the public should provide them with the needed support,” he added.
Shehu said further that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought by all actors- the military, the civilian population and the communication service providers.
“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,” he added.
Pix: The detainees as shown in the new video