3rd August, 2022
Mustapha Imam and Mukthar Shu’aibu, two of the hostages released on Tuesday from captivity by the gunmen who abducted them from the Abuja-Kaduna train in March have spoken about their 127-day ordeal.
Imam, an associate professor from Usman Dan Fodio University Sokoto and Shu’aibu were released on Tuesday alongside Mustapha Imam, Akibu Lawal, Abubakar Rufai and Sidi Sharif.
Imam, a medical doctor appealed for urgent intervention to free the other hostages still in captivity.
He said the captives battled with starvation, with no drugs to treat common ailments such as malaria.
He said as the medical doctor in the camp, he treated the captives as well as the terrorists who abducted them.
“In the last four months in the bush there was no food to eat, we were hungry for the last three and half months. When I said hungry, it’s an understatement.
“There are days that we will eat once a day for certain days. Just imagine, some children are one-year-old, some others 20 months, feeding once a day
“I was the medical doctor in the camp, I treated the captives as well as the Boko Haram members. There was no medication.
“There was a day a lady had a malaria fever and she almost went into a coma because there was no medication for malaria treatment. The situation is terrible.”
He also said that some of the women captives said the terrorists brutalised them in the first two weeks they spent in captivity.
Another freed hostage Shu’aibu said since the day they were abducted until they were released, they never knew peace.
He narrated how he was shot during a ‘friendly’ exchange of fire between the gunmen.
“While we are (were) 85 days in captivity, one certain Tuesday, after I finished the prayer, I heard a gunshot, after that, I noticed blood running down from my stomach to the leg, the bullet ‘brushed’ me.
“The medical doctor in our camp gave me first aid. Their doctor (bandits’ doctor) came and treated me but he could not find the bullet in me.
“I believe that the bullet is still inside me, we can now search for the bullet through scanning,”
The five hostages were among the 62 abducted on March 28 aboard an Abuja-Kaduna train.
It was however not clear if any money was paid to the terrorists to release their abducted victims. The terrorists were said to have placed a N100m ransom on each captive.
The terrorists have so far released 37 of the passengers they abducted from the train while about 35 are still believed to be in their custody.
Last week, the terrorists released a viral video where they were seen flogging their hostages.
They also threatened to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
The presidency however, accused the terrorists of using propaganda to compel the government to yield to their demands.