From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Federal Government has confirmed an attack on the rail track of Abuja-Kaduna bound train, suspending all train operations indefinitely.
The rail tracks for the Abuja-Kaduna train services were blown up Wednesday evening with explosives planted on the tracks by yet to be identified persons.
Confirming the attack, the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engineer Fidet Okhiria, explained that the explosives damaged the rail tracks somewhere between Dutse and Rijana.
‘Yes, there was an explosive on our rail track somewhere around Rijana and Dutse Wednesday night, and this damaged the tracks. Efforts are currently ongoing to ensure that the train services along the Kaduna-Abuja route are fully restored,’ he stated.
‘Nothing other than the explosion that went up on the track happened there. We even ran a train service this morning. There was nothing like shooting off the train by bandits,’ he said.
Acting promptly to avert further attacks, the railway authority has swiftly suspended indefinitely all train services along the Kaduna route.
NRC, in a statement issued on Thursday, clarified that the services were suspended for the safety of passengers and crew members.
According to the Corporation, efforts are being put in place to ensure absolute safety along the route, adding that further information concerning the suspension will be conveyed to the public shortly.
Meanwhile, an unconfirmed report alerting of the planned attack revealed that members of Darussalam (Boko Haram) in collaboration with Bandits led by Dan Abu and Surajo were behind the attack.
The communication for the planned attack titled “Planned attack on train around Rijana, Kaduna State”, read:
‘On 20/10/2021 about 1604 hours, monitoring of communication between Smally, a notorious Bandit located around Tudun Wada, Kaduna south LGA, Kaduna State and his associate, Ardo, located around Sarkin Pawa, Niger State, revealed plan to carry out an attack on a moving train near Rijana, along Abuja-Kaduna railway.
‘Ardo informed Smally that members of Darussalam (Boko Haram) in collaboration with Bandits led by Dan Abu and Surajo are currently on their way to plant a bomb at a bridge on the railway in Rijana to hijack a moving train and kidnap the passengers.
‘Ardo said he decided not to participate in the operation because it is risky but believed that Dan Abu and Surajo will blow up the bridge.
‘In view of the foregoing, it is suggested that Kaduna State and the FCT command be alerted to stop the operation of the train to avoid any untoward development,’ the communication exchange read.