Nigerians Pressured Us To Re-open Abuja-Kaduna Train Services
The Nigeria Railway Corporation has said it was pressured by Nigerians to resume its train service on the Abuja – Kaduna route on May 23.
The Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria, revealed that the Corporation was under pressure from the “mighty and low” to resume operation on that axis.
Speaking in an interview on Arise Television, monitored by THE WHISTLER, Okhiria said if the trains are deserted for a long period, it would have adverse security implications on the train infrastructure.
“We have been under pressure from Nigerians, mighty and low, to resume operations. They are those who want to benefit from a working train.
“We have weighed the pros and cons and can’t fold up the country,” he said.
Families of the abducted victims had threatened to stop the resumption of train services if the government failed to rescue those in captivity.
But Okhiria said the NRC was not insensitive to the plight of the affected families, adding that the government is working tirelessly to secure their release.
“We have worked very hard in the last one month to do the best we can do to ensure that those held hostages are released.
“If you identify those people who are against the resumption and investigate them, you will discover that they are not related to those in captivity.
“We are talking to the families of those being held. As I said earlier, we are under tremendous pressure to resume operation,” he said.
When asked about the security measures set up by the Corporation to prevent reoccurrence, Okhiria said such information was not for public consumption but noted that train service in that axis will subsequently witness intense security measures upon resumption.
Recall that terrorists had detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on an inbound Kaduna-Abuja train on March 28.
The train with at least 362 passengers derailed and the terrorists gained access to it while shooting sporadically at the coaches.
Eight passengers were confirmed dead while 26 got injured and no fewer than 62 were carted away. Over 180, however, have been reported safe by the NRC.
Consequently, the NRC suspended its operation on the axis the next day giving room for the damaged tracks to be repaired.