By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that bandits and terrorists, unlike professional soldiers, don’t respect the rules of engagement and could resort to harming hostages when attacked, revealing that the terrorists who kidnapped passengers at the recent train attacks on Abuja -Kaduna rail, are using civilians as human shields, thereby making it difficult to confront them directly.”
Buhari assured families of the captives that efforts were ongoing to ensure safe return of all those being held by bandits, directing security agencies and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to provide more regular and detailed information to families.
Receiving some FCT residents at State House on Sallah homage, Monday, the President said the government would explore every opportunity to secure the captives, alive and unhurt.
“Let me assure Nigerians that the bandits are just pushing their luck, but this is only for a while before they are finally crushed.
“They don’t care about killing their hostages if they come under attack. It’s a delicate situation that requires wisdom, caution and also patience. Any rescue operation that results in the death of any hostage cannot be deemed a success.
“The government doesn’t want this kind of tragic outcome. It’s a complex situation that demands proper handling. The primary objective of any rescue operation is to free the hostages safely, unharmed and alive.
“Let me make it clear, however, that defeating the terrorists and bandits require more than weapons; we also need human intelligence which is necessary to frustrate terrorist plans. The people and community leaders should help our security officials with information about the activities or movements of criminal groups,” he added.