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#AK9 Train: Brother Cries For Help As Terrorists Plan To Marry Off His Sister

The terrorists who attacked an Abuja-Kaduna bound train released four more captives yesterday, Aug. 19, putting the number of those set free at 41 out of over 60 kidnap victims.

Bali Moses, the brother of Azurfa Lois John, 21, has called on Nigerian authorities to facilitate the release of his sister after the revelation that terrorists plan to marry her off while in captivity. She is one of the captives of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack. 

Tukur Mamu, the spokesperson of a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric who has led negotiations with the terrorists responsible for the Kaduna-Abuja train attack, made the revelation in a video published on Friday, Aug. 19, by Channels TV. 

Mamu, who urged the Nigerian government to ensure the release of the remaining kidnap victims even as four more were released on the evening of Aug. 19, pointed out that “more worrisome and disturbing is the issue of this young, innocent girl, Azurfa Lois John, whom we know is the youngest in the train”.

He said he had credible information there were plans to marry her off to one of their top commanders and he believed it was important to inform Nigerians, especially the government and leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). 

Mamu urged the government and Nigerians to take the situation seriously in order to avoid a repeat of what happened to Leah Sharibu, who is still being held captive by Boko Haram.   

“Even though my call is for the release of all the remaining victims, but the imminent threat to the freedom and liberty of this girl is very very important for me to emphasise,” he said. “And until and unless the relevant authorities take immediate action in that regard, I can confirm to Nigerians that efforts have reached advanced stage to marry her off. And I think this is the right time for us, for CAN to act.”

Mamu also emphasised that the issue should not be politicised along religious lines nor should people concentrate on criticising the [Nigerian] leadership. “When we have a complicated issue like this, it is not time for us to start apportioning blame.”

On Aug. 2, the terrorists released five victims, putting the number of those released at 37, out of over 60 victims.

Azurfa was kidnapped alongside her cousin, Peace Aboi, 28, who has since been released.

In an earlier interview with HumAngle, Azurfa’s brother and aunt had talked about the trauma their entire family was going through, including sleepless nights. 

Azurfa, who is in her third year at the Kaduna State University’s Department of Agriculture, first surfaced as one of those kidnapped in one of the first videos released by the terrorists, where she was dressed in a yellow t-shirt. She is the only girl among four siblings. She is also the last born. They had lost their parents within the space of two months in 2020 and Moses, her eldest brother, had since assumed the role of a father figure in the family. 

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Nathaniel Bivan

Nathaniel Bivan is Features Editor at HumAngle. He tweets @nathanielbivan

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