Kaduna Train Attack: “How we were starved, beaten, shot,” released hostages narrate ordeal in captivity

The released captives pleaded with the Nigerian government to secure the release of those still being held.

After 127 days in captivity, some of the hostages who were released by the gunmen who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train in March have narrated their ordeals in captivity.

The hostages told journalist that their ordeal was so horrendous they will not wish for the hostages still in captivity to spend one more day with their abductors.

They also pleaded with the Nigerian government to hasten efforts to secure their release.

The released hostages are Mustapha Imam, an associate professor from Usman Danfodio University Sokoto; Akibu Lawal; Abubakar Rufai; Mukthar Shu’aibu; and Sidi Sharif.

Mr Imam a medical doctor, narrated his experience to the publisher of DESERT HERALD Newspaper, Tukur Mamu.

He said the captives were starved almost the entire duration in captivity. He added that there was no medication to treat common ailments like malaria.

“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,” Mr Imam said.

“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.”


Mr Imam said though he was not tortured, some of the women claimed the gunmen brutalised them.

He said most of the torture happened in the first two weeks they spent in captivity.

Mr Imam called on the Nigerian government to do whatever was necessary to rescue the remaining captives because they are in a terrible situation.

Another hostage who was released today, Mr Shu’aibu, narrated how he was shot during a ‘friendly’ exchange of fire between the gunmen.

Mr Shu’aibu said “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,” Mr Shu’aibu said.

He said from the day they were abducted, “the hostages never knew peace”.

He also appealed to the federal government to ensure the immediate release of the remaining hostages including children and a 90-year-old woman.

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