FG to Establish Railway Community Security Committees

January 11, 2023
Port Harcourt—Maiduguri Railway

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has said it would establish the Nigerian Railways and Host Communities Security Committees as part of measures to curb the incidence of armed attacks on railway infrastructure and passengers in the country.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Mr Ademola Adegoroye, disclosed this during his visit to the Tom Ikimi train station in the Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State, which was attacked by gunmen last Saturday.

In a statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mr Henshaw Ogubike, it was disclosed that the government would take proactive measures to forestall train station attacks in the country and ensure the safety of passengers and facilities.

He explained that part of the measures is the establishment of a collaborative initiative between the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the host communities to ensure that security is beefed up at the railway stations.

The Minister, who solicited the cooperation of the host communities in this regard, maintained that it was in the best interest of the host communities to ensure that federal government investments and personnel are protected.

However, he allayed fears that the rail transport system will be shut down, saying that the Federal Government and the Nigeria Railway Corporation remain undeterred and will continue operations.

On the recent train attack, the minister said the identity of the attackers is yet to be ascertained but assured that security operatives are on the trail of the assailants to ensure they are brought to justice.

In a related development, the Managing Director of NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, has said that trains on the Warri-Itakpe corridor would not be making a stop at the Tom Ikimi Train Station in the meantime.

Over the weekend, some intending passengers were kidnapped when gunmen attacked the train station in Igueben, Edo State.

Although seven of the victims have been rescued, many Nigerians have raised suspicions about the safety of the trains, which have helped ease reliance on road travel, which has been plagued by accidents and kidnapping.

Saturday’s attack occurred months after terrorists attacked a moving train in Kaduna State on March 28, 2022. Scores of passengers were kidnapped and others killed in the dastard attack that attracted national and international outrage.

The kidnapped victims were freed in swathes, with the last batch released in October 2022.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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