FG To Secure Kaduna-Abuja Train With Local Vigilantes 

After gunmen suspected to be Bandits, attacked, killed and kidnapped passengers onboard the Kaduna-Abuja train on Monday, the federal government, mulls employing locals to secure the trains.
Speaking on Tuesday, during an inspection of the site of the incident, the minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said since the government was still in the process of procuring technology needed to safeguard rail infrastructure in Nigeria, natives may be employed to secure the trains until state of the art equipment are procured.
He said, “So at the moment, we are thinking about the possibility of employing natives until we get those equipment. We also need helicopters, beyond the drones, we need helicopters. No matter the cost, you cannot equate it with the eight lives that were lost. The equipment were just N3 billion.”
He explained further, “we don’t have all the figures of missing persons, kidnapped and those injured at the moment. The numbers we have is that there are eight casualties. There are 25 persons in the hospital and the total number of passengers are 398.
“So, we have had to wait on the security and the Kaduna State government and the Nigerian Railway Corporation to make contact with those on the manifest.
“There are few persons who are not on the manifest like the staff of the NRC, staff of the cleaning contractor, they are not on the manifest and we may not be able to completely account for them but those on the manifest, calls are being made to reach them,” he stated.
The Minister lamented that “for me, I am devastated and I honestly I don’t know what to tell Nigerians anymore.
“The cameras in the train cannot pick what is happening outside. What you need is a camera that shows 100 metres away from the train, if there are unknown things carrying gun. Then, we can take precautions but we have done all we need to do in the ministry of transport, we have forward them for approval but we have not gotten approval.
“The patrol vehicles are available but they cannot reach everywhere. For the areas the vehicles can patrol, they forestall any incident.”
On perimeter fencing, Amaechi said: “The man was doing it but he was not paid and even for areas that have the fencing, they are being demolished and it is not high enough to protect one from criminals, it is just for cows.
“What we need is technology that let you know that there are human activities or foreign activities on the track, that way, you can secure the locomotive and secure lives and I had warned earlier that it is important they get us this approval because human lives would be involved. Since that warning till today, we have had two incidents,” he lamented.
At the moment, NRC has suspended train operations on the Abuja-Kaduna rail route.

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