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FG suspends resumption of Abuja-Kaduna train service

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), on Friday, has announced an indefinite suspension of the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train services, which was initially scheduled to resume on May 23, 2022.

The suspension followed outcry from families of kidnap victims of the March 28 attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train by gunmen suspected to be terrorists.

The families had threatened to frustrate the resumption of the train service.

In a statement by the spokesman of the NRC, Mahmoud Yakubu, said a new date would be announced to the public as soon as possible.

In the statement, the NRC apologised for the delay in the resumption of the service even as it assured the families of the kidnap victims that it was working very hard to safely rescue the kidnapped passengers.

According to the statement, it said, “The NRC will continue to cooperate and collaborate with the Federal Government in its uncompromising mandate of protecting the territorial integrity and the internal security of Nigeria for safeguarding the lives and properties of its citizens especially as it concerns the rail sub-sector.

“In same vein, we once again identify with the relatives of those in captivity on the account of the recent attack on AKTS to be rest assured that the Federal Government is alive to its responsibility for the safe rescue of all persons being held hostage.

“We, therefore, appeal, particularly to the relatives of persons held hostage to be patient and cooperate with the Corporation and the security agencies as the Federal Government is exploring all possible ways and means to ensure the safe release of their loved ones from captivity, soonest. The NRC expresses its profound gratitude to the security agencies for the continued support.”

However, a senior official of the NRC who craved anonymity, explained that the lamentations from the families of the kidnapped train passengers forced the NRC to postpone the passenger train resumption indefinitely.

“After the NRC announced that the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train will resume on Monday, 23rd of May 2022, there was an outcry from the families of the kidnapped victims.

“Many felt once the trains resume operations, the case of the 62 passengers still in the kidnappers’ den will be forgotten. Many of them raised alarm about the continuous stay in captivity of their beloved ones and because the NRC feels their pain, the management felt the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train resumption should be postponed indefinitely.

“A new date will soon be announced very soon. For now, many people affected by the train attack are tensed and we need to assure them that we are on top of the rescue of their relatives,” the NRC official said.

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