© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
‘You fled like a newborn mouse,’ Aisha Yesufu accuses Amaechi of denying reported kidnap attempt
AISHAT Yesufu, an activist on Monday accused Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation of debunking reports of his attempted kidnap on Sunday evening.
The notable BringBackOurGirls Campaigner claimed her siblings and sister-in-law were on the same train until the incident happened.
“Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi you should be ashamed of yourself. My sister, my brother and my sister-in-law were on that train. When your convoy scattered and you fled like a newborn mouse whom water has been poured on, it was witnessed! GOVERNANCE IS NOT BY LIES & PROPAGANDA!” She tweeted.
But the former Rivers state governor, shortly after the report described the news as false.
“Fake News. This is completely concocted,” Amaechi wrote on his unverified handle.
Fake News. This ???????? is completely concocted https://t.co/872OKrcMi5
— Chibuike.R. Amaechi (@ChibuikeAmaechi) February 16, 2020
On Sunday, 16th February, an online newspaper had reported that scores of the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers including Amaechi allegedly escaped the kidnappers.
The report says the abductors had laid an ambush around Mando Area with the intention to attack passengers who reportedly arrived at about 8:15 pm.
“We were lucky the police and soldiers are nearby to come to our rescue. The minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi was among the passengers. His convoy had to make a detour onto Rigasa road,” the report quoted a passenger identified as Musa Lawan.
“Yes, it’s true that gunmen attacked travellers along Airport Link road again after they alighted from the train. There was a convoy that was almost caught in the fire which we suspected it to be a minister ‘s convoy but the convoy made an emergency u-turn and go through Rigasa town,” an eye witness at a nearby motor park also told Daily Trust.
However, the alleged attack is not the first in the series of attempted kidnapping around the train station. Some reports put the figure at the third occurrence within a month.
On 25th January, some persons were reportedly attacked at the Rigasa train station at about 8:00 pm, where their abductors later demanded N20 million ransoms.
Similar kidnap case was reported 24 hours earlier.
“When the 6:30 pm train from Abuja arrived Kaduna around 8:00 pm, the passengers disembarked. Some of them proceeded to their destinations but those who tried to connect the town through the Rigasa – Airport road came under gunfire from suspected bandits,” the Cable reported.
Meanwhile, several cases of kidnapping and banditry had been reported on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, which thereafter caused passengers to patronise the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
Last year August, for instance, bandits reportedly killed three persons and held dozens on the Abuja – Kaduna highway.
In January, the Kaduna State Police Command also confirmed the abduction Alhaji Umaru Bubaram, Emir of Potiskum on the same Abuja – Kaduna expressway while six others were killed during the attack.
Since the commissioning of the rail project, it is believed that commuters plying the Abuja-Kaduna by train are no longe prone to attacks by babdits until the recent happenings.
The ICIR, however, reached out to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Yakubu Sabo, the Spokesperson for the Kaduna State Police Command. He did not answer his calls. Text messages sent to him were not responded as well.