The Inspector General of Police , IGP Usman Alkali Baba has ordered the immediate deployment of armed personnel as Abuja/Kaduna Railway resumes operations Monday.
The Police stated this in a press release signed by ICP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Force Public Relation Officer, shared through the official account of the Nigeria Police Force on Sunday.
According to the statement, the armed personnel have been 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.
“The Nigeria Police Force has been in regular talks with the Nigerian Railway Corporation and other security agencies in preparation for the commencement of operations.”
“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 unforseen incidence.”
“The IGP therefore assures the general public, especially intending passengers, of adequate protection of lives and property, as all hands are on deck to fortify the railway services along the route and other rail lines across the country,” the statement reads.
Recall that the Nigeria Railway Corporation halted all operations along the Abuja/Kaduna route after a terrorist attack was mounted on the train at Katari, Kaduna State, Nigeria on March 28, 2022.
The train which had about 970 passengers on board was hijacked leaving eight people dead, many injured while others were kidnapped.
People who lost their lives to the tragic incident include Chinelo Megafu Chinelo, a medical doctor, Tibile Mosugu, a rising lawyer and son of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and Barrister Musa Lawal-Ozigi, secretary-general, Trade Union Congress, TUC, Amin Mahmoud, a youth leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Megafu Chinelo, a doctor, was declared dead hours after she said on Twitter that she had been shot on the Kaduna-bound train. In a statement released on 28 March 2022, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) verified this. Chinelo tweeted shortly after the train from Abuja to Kaduna was attacked by terrorists: “I’m in the train, I have been shot. Please pray for me”
While some empathised with the doctor, her message was met with vile comments by other social media users who thought it was just one of the many ploys used by tweeps for clout-chasing.