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Insecurity: FG Gives Reasons Abuja-Kaduna Train Service Won’t Be Reopened …NRC suspends Lagos-Kano, Ajaokuta train services

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, says the Kaduna-Abuja train service will remain shut until the kidnapped victims are reunited with their families and additional security measures provided.

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He said the proposed surveillance security equipment on rail tracks would be procured.

The minister spoke after he inspected the Idu, Abuja Train Station on Tuesday.

He said, “Before the service is reopened, it is very important to get those Nigerians that have been kidnapped reunited with their families, otherwise it will appear the government is not sensitive whereas the government is not only sensitive but the government is doing everything it can to make sure that those who have been affected by this abduction are reunited with their families.”

Secondly, he said “you must put in place adequate security and infrastructural measures to protect and prevent all forms of threats that are possible and leave what you cannot do to God but everything humanly possible must be put in place to ensure that the reoccurrence of this nature is automatically eliminated forever.”

He noted that “technology can make that possible and we are trying to deploy the best technology available anywhere in the world that has served very well in other jurisdictions which we believe can also serve us very well in Nigeria.”

On the said the N3bn rail track sensors, he said: “We’re in the process of procuring the sensors and that is why I said we must ensure that we put in place every infrastructure that will ensure that lives are safeguarded. So, the technology that is going to be deployed is such that you can perceive a threat and eliminate it before you get to the location; that is being proactive.

“The best way to travel as far as I am concerned is by train and by the grace of God, we’ll make sure these services resume but not until those things I mentioned have been achieved. Rescue or reunion of those that have been kidnapped with their families and put in place technology that will ensure that threats to lives are eliminated.” he said

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has suspended the Lagos-Kano and Ajaokuta train services over the fear of terrorist attacks.

It was gathered that the NRC suspended services at the Ajaokuta station along Warri-Itakpe route over the attack on some train passengers by gunmen on Monday, while operations on the Lagos-Kano route were suspended over the rising insecurity in Niger and Kaduna states, which are the routes of the train heading to Kano from Lagos.

According to PUNCH, multiple sources in the Ministry of Transportation and the NRC disclosed that the train services would not resume until the security along the Lagos-Kano route and the Ajaokuta train station was guaranteed.

The suspension of the train services was however confirmed by the NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, on Tuesday.

Okhiria, while speaking on the services along the Warri-Itakpe route, said: “We have not stopped services, rather what we said was that we are not going to be stopping at the Ajaokuta station.

“This is because yesterday (Monday), while passengers were leaving the station with their private cars and buses, they had people shooting at them. So we said we will not stop there again for passengers.

“The train is still running, but for now we will not be stopping at Ajaokuta because they have some concerns there. We heard that they removed their traditional ruler in that location and the local government chairman there,” the NRC Managing Director disclosed.

He added that apart from the Abuja-Kaduna route, the NRC had also suspended services on the Lagos-Kano route over the security challenges bedeviling the country.

When asked if there was any other train service that was not operating aside from the Abuja-Kaduna service, Okhiria said: “No, apart from the Lagos to Kano (train service) because the Kaduna route is affected by the activities of bandits; and it (Lagos-Kano route) was stopped because we have to pass through Minna and Kaduna when heading to Kano. So we have to stop it for now.”

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