At least 6, 000 Nigerians rode on the first free train service from Lagos to Osogbo provided by Osun government for Eid holidaymakers.
The beneficiaries were very excited after they arrived their destinations on Sunday evening and lauded the state government for the initiative.
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The described the free train initiative as commendable panacea for transport hurdles, particularly during festive periods.
After their arrival at the Osogbo Terminal of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, some of the beneficiaries who spoke with our correspondent said the enjoyed the trip and expressed gratitude to the Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola.
Morufat Alao and Olawuyi Abiola who boarded the train from Lagos to Osogbo, commended the hitch- free trip, saying the initiative has once again rekindled their hope in the revitalisation process of rail transportation in the country.
Alao said the initiative had become a sustainable household transport means for the citizens, particularly the festive holidaymakers who, out of financial constraints, could not afford transport fares to come home and celebrate with their families and loved ones during the festive periods.
In her words: “I appreciate this noble gesture, the most commendable aspect of this initiative remains the fact that the government is serious about the security and safety of the beneficiaries of the scheme.
“I was amazed to have seen heavy presence of security in and out while boarding the train in Lagos. This is not only impressive but worthy of emulation.
“I can remember vividly how the security operatives were going up and down along the way to ensure that no one misbehaved or better still forestall break down of law and order throughout the trip to Osogbo.
“In fact, my journey to Osogbo was not only adventurous but a memorable one. I wish to experience more of it in the future. Osun Government is doing wonderfully well as far as this initiative is concerned.
Similarly, Olawale Abdul-Maleek, Oseni Biyawo, Oyedele, Abdul-Kodir, Usman Abdul-Azeez and Rashidat Owolabi lauded the security measures put in place to ensure a smooth and rancour-free trip to Osogbo.
They commended the smooth trip to Osogbo, just as they assured of their support for the State and showered encomiums on the Governor for prioritising the masses’ welfare as reflected in the successful implementation of the government’s social intervention programmes.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun, said Governor Oyetola was resolute to scale up the initiative in such a way that would be more beneficial to the citizens.
“We thank God for a smooth ride. The train departed Lagos by 10:00am on Sunday and they are here safe and sound. Again, on Monday, the train will take off by 10:00am in Lagos and we will receive them here and the returning will be on 25th of this month.
“Our train service has always been with security arrangement to ensure the safety of the passengers in the face of prevailing crimes such as banditry and kidnapping. Thus, this is not the first time of doing it. We have been doing it in the past. The security measure is adequate and we are sure that to and fro, the security arrangement will still be intact.
“We enjoin our beneficiaries to always be law abiding and to take to all instructions as given by the security operatives to continue to ensure smooth operations.