The Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered that the resumption of train service along the attacked Abuja-Kaduna rail network, should resume on Monday 23rd of May, 2022.
Train services had been suspended along the route after bandits attacked a train, killed several persons, and abducted scores of passengers in March, 2022.
Although some of the victims have regained freedom, many are still in captivity hoping to be able to gather the ransom charges as rescue operations by the Nigerian security agencies have not been yielding positive results.
In a statement signed by spokesperson of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Yakubu Mahmood, he said the decision to resume services does not mean efforts to secure the safe release of those abducted will be put on hold.
According to him, the government has made the rescue efforts of victims a top priority and families are advised not to misconstrue the resumption of train services as abandonment or nonchalant attitude of the government towards their plight.
“The Government wishes to assure the relatives of the abducted citizens still in captivity that the safe rescue of these passengers is a top priority and not to misconstrue the resumption of train services, as abandonment or nonchalant attitude of the government towards their plight”
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“The Federal Government will never abdicate its responsibility in rescuing these valuable citizens, however, the government assures of its resolve not to succumb to threats by any faceless group,” the NRC statement partly read.
Meanwhile, the families of those abducted have threatened to resist the reopening of the train service.
According to them, the Nigerian government has not shown any concern for their plight as the terrorists have made it clear that they would only negotiate with the federal government.
Speaking on improved security for the train services, the NRC said additional security measures are being put in place to beef up security at the train stations and along the track.
“These measures are not only for the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) but also for all the passenger train services especially on the standard gauge railway lines.
“Consequently, the passengers are hereby enjoined to cooperate with the NRC in order to enjoin improved service delivery, safety and comfort by patiently complying with additional measures that will surely be introduced for the safety of our passengers, such as requesting for passengers National Identification Numbers (NIN) as part of our internal security check,” the statement said.
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The NRC said customers must present a Valid Photo Identification Card (ID) and a reachable telephone number of Next of Kin (NOK) or close relative before boarding a train.
Online and offline purchase of tickets must contain the passengers individual profile or identification data, the NRC said.
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