When contacted, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mahmood Yakubu, said he could not comment on the development.
The Federal Government has been handed a 72-hour ultimatum to rescue passengers kidnapped during the recent attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train.
Families of the abducted train passengers issued the ultimatum on Monday at the end of their meeting in Kaduna.
The development came some hours after a video of the abductees appealing to the FG for help surfaced on social media.
Speaking on behalf of other family members, Abdulfatai Jimoh said they were yet to determine the current status of the abducted passengers, who have been missing since March 28 — the day of the attack.
“The kidnappers said we should be ready that they are going to contact us. We have not had any communication with them since then,” he said.
“Since this incident happened, we expected that by now, the government, the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Federal Ministry of Transportation are supposed to have identified relatives of the victims to tell us what efforts they are making or not to rescue our loved ones unhurt.
“In fact, the primary duty of any government is to protect the lives and property of citizens. We believe our government can do it and it’s capable of doing it.
“Until a few days ago, we had been expecting telephone calls from the abductors because that’s what they promised us. But when we saw the video, they made it very clear that they want to discuss with the government; that they have something with the government.
“We don’t know what they want from the government. But it is now an opportunity and a window for the government to rescue our loved ones by opening channels of communication with them. This is not out of place. It is done anywhere in the world.
“This, we know our government can do and we are appealing to them to do it. We don’t know what is between them but it is something that can be resolved in the interest of the lives of Nigerian citizens. Life is very sacred — even if it is one life that’s involved.
“We are appealing to them to open a channel of discussion with the bandits and get our loved ones out as quickly as possible. We have been in serious anguish over the past 15 days. Many of us have not been sleeping. We are like living corpses.
“We have decided collectively that we are giving the government 72 hours to do everything that’s necessary to rescue our loved ones.”
NRC will resume Abuja-Kaduna train operations Monday Dec 5 – MD Okhiria
‘Update mobile app for booking’ – NRC says Abuja-Kaduna train to resume on Monday
The Federal Government says the Abuja-Kaduna train services will commence on Monday, December 5, 2022.
Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, stressing that all was set for the resumption of train operations along that route on Monday
He, however, advised passengers to begin updating their mobile apps as from December 3, 2022, to enable them to successfully book for rides.
He noted that services would commence with two train rides from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa.
Okhiria said, “AK 1 will depart Idu Station at 9:45hrs and arrive at Rigasa station at 11:53hrs. KA 2 will depart Rigasa at 8:00hrs and arrive Idu station at 10:17hrs. AK 3 will depart Idu Station at 15:30hrs and arrive Rigasa Station at 17:38hrs. And KA 4 will depart Rigasa at 14:00hrs and arrive Idu Station at 16:07hrs.
The NRC boss assured passengers of the federal government’s commitment to ensure safety of lives and properties on board its train at all times.
The continued delay in resumption had sparked speculations that services would recommence last Monday.
But on Tuesday, Mua’zu Sambo, minister of transportation, said train services on the corridor would resume within seven days.
The minister said this was to enable passengers to get used to the new requirements (phone number and national identification number) for boarding the train.
“Your purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile, because that is the beginning of the security checks.
“So, at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who is on board.
“If you don’t have a national identification number (NIN) you are not going to board our train. It is as simple as that.”
Insecurity: FG installs CCTV cameras on Abuja-Kaduna train coaches
The Federal Government has commenced the installation of closed-circuit television cameras on train coaches that will be run on Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
This is coming a few days after the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, announced the postponement of the train service resumption by one week.
PUNCH reported last week that some contractors were at the Idu rail station to install the cameras and trackers but couldn’t install them.
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It was reported on Tuesday that two out of the initial three cameras were fixed.
Punch correspondent, who visited the Idu rail station on Tuesday, observed that workers said to be working for FG contractors were installing the cameras on the coaches.
However, the surroundings of the stations were still filled with dry grass.
A reliable source within the Idu rail station confirmed the development, saying, “They are mounting the DMU on the other side. They are fixing three cameras on each coach, making it six.”
Amaechi left indelible mark in railways, we’ll continue, says Sambo
Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, says he will build on the legacies of his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, in the area of railway transformation, which he describes as an indelible mark.
He stated this during a tour of railway facilities from Lagos to Ibadan.
He was accompanied by the Minister of State for Transport, Adeleke Adegoroye.
He praised Amaechi’s
commitment in ensuring the actualisation of the standard gauge rail for Nigerians.
“I wish the incoming government will continue with the progress in the rail sector which we are all proud of presently.
“My gratitude goes to my predecessor for all he has done while in office , even his enemies would admit to his commitment towards achieving success in the rail sector.
“My predecessor had left an indelible mark; although we have limited time, we have vowed to continue where the former minister stopped.”
After a train ride from Lagos to Ibadan, Sambo, who interacted with some of the train passengers in Abeokuta, expressed satisfaction with the standard guage train service.
He commended the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation for their support
“We have been receiving support from the management of railway; we hope it will be sustained to enable us to create the enabling environment for business to strive and reduce cost of doing business.”
Sambo, who interacted with some train passengers at Wole Soyinka Railway Station in Abeokuta during the Lagos-Ibadan train tour, said he was satisfied with the service and favourable persengers’ comments.
“I am highly impressed with the railway modernisation programme of this administration. What we have seen is unprecedented. And we have vowed, my colleague and I, that within the short time that we have to spend as ministers, we will build on what we have found so that the trajectory will not be truncated in any way at all.”
Speaking on the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor, Sambo reiterated the ministry’s stance on resuming operations in November.
He however refrained from stating a specific resumption date and asked Nigerians to wait patiently.
“We have announced previously that we are going to commence operations on that line this month. We have the target date. It is not necessary for me to share that date publicly. I don’t think that would help in running the service. Nigerians are interested in the service, right? Today is November 17; less than two weeks before the month is over. So, just be patient,” the minister said.
The team also visited the control tower, where Managing Director, NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, explained the importance of the place in monitoring the entire gamut of train operations along the Lagos-Ibadan corridor and to cover the entire railway network later.
Okhiria earlier in his welcome address commended the FG’s commitment towards ensuring completion of all the projects within the time frame, adhering to quality and international best practices.
He said that railway was the cornerstone of economic growth of all countries through mass movement of freight and people, thereby creating direct and indirect job opportunities, urbanisation, business expansion and social integration for peaceful coexistence.
“In the recent time, the NRC has been facing some challenges which include security and vandalisation. We thank the minister and his team for their effort towards ensuring that the railway corridors are now properly secure for the safety of our esteemed passengers and other stakeholders.
” I also commend the effort of he Honourable minister by ensuring all hostages of the AKTS infamous train attack were released before the resumption of the train operations on AKTS. This shows the compassion and empathy of our minister,” Okhiria said.
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