The federal government has concluded plans to establish the Nigerian Railways and Host Communities Security Committees as part of measures to rising security challenges on the railway corridors across the country.
Recall the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) had previously engaged the communities on the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor to help with intelligence and guard railway infrastructure against vandals and attacks.
Following the recent terror attack on a train station at the Itakpe-Warri rail facility, the FG is planning on escalating the community engagement measures.
A statement by Henshaw Ogubike, the Director of Press & PR, said the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, made this known when he visited the Tom Ikimi Train Station in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State which was attacked by yet-to-be-identified gunmen on Saturday.
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While sympathising with the victims of the unfortunate attack, the minister noted that “The intention of the perpetrators of this heinous crime is to sabotage the good and great efforts of President Mohammed Buhari towards the resuscitation of the rail transport service. Henceforth the government will take proactive measures to forestall train station attacks in the country and ensure the safety of passengers and facilities.”
He said one of such steps would be the establishment of a collaborative initiative between the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the host communities to ensure that security is beefed up at the railway stations.
The minister who solicited the cooperation of the host communities in this regard maintained that it was in the best interest of the host communities to ensure that the federal government investments and personnel are protected.
Prince Adegoroye alleged fears that the rail transport system will be shut down. He said, “The federal government remains undeterred. The Nigerian Railway Corporation remains undeterred and that is why we will continue to operate this rail service. We are not going to stop. All we need to do is to ensure the safety and security of our people and our passengers.”
He assured that security operatives were on the trail of these assailants, adding that the government will do everything possible to bring the perpetrators of the heinous act to justice.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation, Engr Fidet Okhiria, said train services on the Warri-Itakpe corridor have not been halted, noting however that the train would not be making a stop at the Tom Ikimi Train Station for the meantime.