By Cosmas Omegoh, Lagos
The Federal Government has announced that the Abuja-Kaduna train services will resume on Monday, May 23, while assuring that undisclosed measures had been mounted to rescue the remnants of the kidnap incident still in the captivity of bandits.
A release issued by the Nigerian Railway Corporations (NRC) Deputy Director, Yakub Mahmood said: “the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMoT) has directed the resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS).”
This is coming as the board and management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) assured their “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 on board.”
Mahmood disclosed in the release that “the concerted joint effort to secure the safe release of the abducted passengers being held hostage by the terrorists continues out of the public domain for strategic security reasons.”
He noted that “however, the government wishes to assure the relatives of the abducted citizens still in captivity that the safe rescue of the 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.”
He noted that “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.”
According to him, the measures now approved for passengers’ safety are “not only for the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) but also for all the passenger-train services, especially on the standard gauge railway lines.”
He added that the NRC board and management had also approved various times for the departure and arrivals of the trains between the two cities.
The board and management enjoined passengers “to cooperate with the NRC in order to enjoy 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,” insisting that “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 particularly appealed to its “valued customers for understanding and invites them to effortlessly cooperate with our staff at the various train stations.”
While appreciating that the customers will abide by the approved simple security measures, it warned passengers to “desist from obtaining tickets through unauthorised (Racketeers) sources.”