The bandits who on March 28 attacked a Nigerian passenger train in Kaduna State, are demanding the release of 16 top commanders and sponsors in government custody, in exchange for the release of the over 100 individuals abducted, POLITICS NIGERIA reports.
The group in their recent videos did not directly state their affiliation but there have been concerns about the possible expansion of Boko Haram or any of its factions, Ansaru or ISWAP, the the Islamic State in West Africa Province, to the region. The latter has since allied itself with ISIS (ISIL).
According to Punch on Tuesday, the bandits in their ongoing negotiations with the Nigerian Federal Government were demanding prisoners’ exchange – they want 16 of their commanders freed.
Last week, the Managing Director (MD) of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Alwan Ali-Hassan, who was kidnapped, regained freedom.
On Sunday, the terrorists released another video where some of the captives were seen calling on the government to come to their rescue.
Now, a senior official said the terrorists were being hindered by the arrest of their top commanders, noting that their sources of funding had been greatly impacted by the arrest of their sponsors.
“What they want is prisoners exchange and money. It is a lie that they don’t want money; they want both money and prisoners exchange. They would release the passengers in exchange for many of their members in custody. They are collaborating with Boko Haram to pool resources together and constitute a bigger security threat to the country,” the official said.