The government announced the resumption of the train service while ensuring the security of the passengers.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has resumed operations at the Kaduna-Abuja railway, nine months after nine people were killed and scores of other passengers were abducted by terrorists who attacked the train in a community near Kaduna.
The services of the train were abruptly suspended after the 28 March, 2022, attack.
On Monday, at exactly 9:45 a.m. the first train, since the attack, left the Kaduna terminal for the country’s capital, Abuja.
There were only a handful of passengers on board.
Armed security deployed
Before the resumption of the train services, the police announced new security measures to ensure the safety of the passengers along the routes.
“The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered immediate deployment of armed personnel drawn from the Police Mobile Force, K-9, Force Intelligence Bureau, Explosive Ordinance Unit and Railway Police Command for the commencement of railway services along Abuja/Kaduna rail lines on Monday 5th December 2022,” the police spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, announced that in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
“The Nigeria Police Force has been in regular talks with the Nigerian Railway Corporation and other security agencies in preparation for the commencement of operations.
“The deployment covers major railway stations along the route and operational coaches to provide adequate security for passengers, their property and the entire service to prevent any unforeseen incidence.
“The IGP, therefore, assures the general public, especially intending passengers, of adequate protection of lives and property, as all hands are on deck to fortify the railway services along the route and other rail lines across the country.
The train attack
At least 9 people died in the attack while 168 people were declared missing, most of whom were believed to have been kidnapped.
The train departed Abuja for Kaduna before it was attacked in a Kaduna community by terrorists.
While scores of passengers on the train were kidnapped, many others escaped with injuries which resulted in their deaths.
The terrorists released some of the hostages in batches after the ransom was paid by the relatives.
The middleman who helped the victims’ families negotiate with the terrorists, Tukur Mamu, has, however, been arrested by the secret police, SSS.
Mr Mamu was arrested on 7 September for allegedly conniving with the terrorists.
He was arrested in Egypt on his way to Saudi Arabia for a lesser Hajj. He is still being held by the secret police for the alleged offence.
In October, the Nigerian government secured the release of the 23 remaining captives of the train attack.
Secretary of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee, Usman Yusuf, said the seven-man presidential committee assembled by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the kidnapped victims of the Ill-fated train.”
Kaduna, in north-west Nigeria, is one of the states troubled by terrorism with various armed groups, called bandits by locals, killing and kidnapping residents of rural communities, but recent efforts by the security forces have resulted in the killings of many of the terrorists and their leaders in the state.