The federal government through the federal ministry of Transportation (FMoT) yesterday directed the resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS). It would be exactly 57 days after the deadly terrorists attacked the corridor.
The government noted also that concerted effort were being made to secure the safe release of the abducted passengers being held hostage by the terrorists. This, it said was being done out of public domain for strategic security reasons.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Yakub Mahmood, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, said the passenger train service between Abuja-Kaduna, “is to commence on Monday 23rd May, 2022.”
According to the statement, “the Board and management of the NRC wish to inform our valued customers that additional security measures are being put in place at both the train stations and the track to ensure the safety of the passengers onboard.
“These measures are not only for the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service, but also for all the passenger train services especially on the standard gauge railway lines.”
It added: “However, 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.
“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.
“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 in addition, presentation of the following must be strictly complied with before boarding the train.
“Valid Photo Identification Card (ID), reachable telephone number of Next of Kin (NOK) or close relative, online and offline purchase of tickets must contain the passengers individual profile or identification data.”
The NRC management further appealed to customers for understanding and invited them to effortlessly cooperate with its staff at the various train stations.
Adding: “We further appreciate complying with these simple security measures while passengers must desist from obtaining tickets through unauthorized (Racketeers) sources.”
One of the two pregnant women among the passengers kidnapped during the attack had been delivered of a baby. The gunmen had on March 28 ambushed the train heading for Kaduna from the nation’s capital city after bombing its rail track.