Publisher of the Desert Herald newspaper, a Kaduna-based newspaper, Tukur Mamu, has helped in negotiating the release of seven hostages who were abducted from the Kaduna-bound train that was attacked by gunmen in March.
Mamu, who is also a media consultant to a popular Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, helped in securing the release of 11 hostages in June.
According to the Desert Herald, those released on Saturday are Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule and Sadiq Ango Abdullahi.
Others are Muhammad Daiyabu Paki, Aliyu Usman and and a Pakistani Muhammad Abuzar Afzal.
Though Mamu had earlier announced he was withdrawing from mediating between the government and the gunmen because of what he said was the government’s lukewarm involvement, he decided to resume negotiation with the gunmen after he was reportedly convinced by notably family members of the victims to reconsider his decision.
He said the seven hostages were handed over to him in Kaduna late Saturday.
Like the previous release, Mamu said he initiated the latest release of the abducted persons with the support of his principal, Gumi.
He thanked the military for the support they rendered during the rescue mission.
“After the victims were successfully evacuated, travelling through over 40 kilometres in the forest, they were given a military escort back to Kaduna,” Mr Mamu said.
Mamu said no ransom was paid for the release of the passengers.
“Money cannot achieve what I have done today. And I will never involve myself in any issue that has to do with money.
“We must come together as a nation to confront our challenges. I pray and hope that government will learn a lot of lessons in the development of today. We thank Allah that He uses us to make many happy,” Mamu said.