Residents of Railway Terminus, Maiduguri, Borno State capital, have protested the evacuation of train coaches out of the state.
This is as the Deputy governor of the state Umar Usman Kadufur, while addressing the protesters assured that the state government identified with their concern and would not allow the facilities to be taken out of Maiduguri.
“Borno is the only state in the federation that borders three different countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, and so Railway services are key to enhancing trans -Saharan trade.
“Therefore apart from halting the evacuation of these coaches, the Borno State Government will ensure that other coaches that were evacuated in one way or the other are returned back to Maiduguri.” Kadafur said.
Aggrieved protesters carrying placards with different inscriptions reading, “Return our railway service”, “We want our Railway coaches back”, “No to evacuation of Railway facilities” stormed the terminus on Sunday morning.
The protesters also called on the state government to stop the encroachment of the land of the railway Terminus and shut down the gala clubs breeding criminals in the location.
On Saturday, there were reports that the police had arrested six persons over theft of train coaches in Maiduguri.
However, in another twist, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, (NSCDC) said it was not a case of theft as it received official communication regarding the coaches evacuation of coaches by railway officials.
When our reporter visited the railway Terminus, four heavy carriers (trailers) were seen loaded with the coaches under police guard, but their tires were depleted.