‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – The Federal Government has ruled out every possibility of reopening train services along Abuja-Kaduna until all the kidnap victims of the train attack are released and reunited with their families.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, made this known in Abuja, during an inspection tour of the Idu and Kubwa train stations.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation had suspended the operation of the train service linking Abuja to Kaduna on March 29, after terrorists attacked the train around Kateri-Rijana area of Kaduna.
During the attacks on the train carrying 362 passengers, 62 were confirmed kidnapped by government officials. Four months later, 27 out of the abducted passengers have been released.
The train service was scheduled to resume on May 23, 2022, but the families of the kidnapped train passengers forced the government to reverse the decision to resume operations.
Sambo dismissed allegations by the families of victims who alleged that the victims are not catered for.
He said they are being taken care of and that the government will not relent until everyone is reunited with their families.
His words: “By the grace of God,we will make sure that these services resume, but until those things are being achieved. To rescue and reunite those that have been kidnapped with their families and put in place such technologies to ensure that threats to life are eliminated.
“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.
“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.”