The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has resumed operations at the Kaduna-Abuja railway, eight months after they were suspended.
Meanwhile, there was a low turnout of passengers which was owing largely to the short resumption notice while security presence was high. Some of the security operatives who spoke to Channels Television, assured of passengers’ safety while officials of the NRC re-echoed the same thing.
In March, Boko Haram attacked a passenger train along the route, leading to deaths, abduction, and injuries to the passengers. The NRC in the wake of the attack suspended the service with the abducted persons released piecemeal.
But on Monday, operations resumed with the first train leaving the Rigasa Train Station in Kaduna to Abuja by 8:00 am. The first train also departed the Idu Train Station in Abuja to Kaduna State by 9:45 am. The Kaduna-Abuja bound train arrived at the Idu Train Station exactly at 10:22 am.
Before the resumption of the services, the Federal Government and security agencies put several measures in place to ensure the safety of the passengers.
Last week, the Federal Government said passengers on the route must register their phone numbers and National Identification Number (NIN) at the point of ticket purchase.
According to the NRC, identity verification devices will be used at each train station on the route for its officials to verify the validity of the identities of passengers.
The agency also warned that it is dangerous for any Nigerian to use his or her NIN to purchase tickets for unknown persons as this may lead to criminal prosecution.
On Sunday, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered the deployment of armed personnel along the route.
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc(+), NPM, NEAPS, FDC, CFR, has ordered immediate deployment of armed personnel drawn from the Police Mobile Force, K-9, Force Intelligence Bureau, Explosive Ordnance Unit and Railway Police Command for the commencement of railway services along Abuja/Kaduna rail lines on Monday 5th December 2022,” a statement from the police read.
“The deployment covers major railway stations along the route and operational coaches to provide adequate security for passengers, their property, and the entire service in order to prevent any unforeseen incidence,” it added. (Channels TV)
*PHOTO: Abuja-Kaduna Train