June 21, 2024

NIGERIA Global News

Kaduna-Abuja Train Attack: Buhari orders Nationwide Sting Operation of Terrorists responsible

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About 398 passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train were met with an ill fate on their journey. The Kaduna-bound train was attacked by terrorists on Monday between Rijana and Katari in Kaduna State.

 

According to several reports, at least 8 out of the 398 passengers who boarded the train have been confirmed dead by the state government, with others are being hospitalized and several others are still being unaccounted for.

 

Samuel Aruwan, The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, who confirmed the figures, also disclosed that from the manifest received from the Nigerian Railway Corporation, 398 passengers bought the tickets, but 362 were validated.

 

Aruwan said that the passenger’s manifest received, excluded the NRC workers and security officers on board the train. The commissioner further stated that investigations were still being carried out to ascertain the status of the members yet unaccounted for. According to Arwan,” The Kaduna State Government has received from the NRC the detailed passenger manifest for the Abuja-Kaduna train service AK9, which was attacked by terrorists on Monday.

 

His statement reads, “According to the documents received, 398 passengers bought tickets for the trip, but 362 were validated as having boarded the train through the recognized turnstile.

 

The passenger manifest does not include NRC staff and security officials, who were on board. “Furthermore, security agencies have reported that eight bodies were recovered and 26 persons were injured during the attack. Investigations are still ongoing to ascertain the status of the passengers, who were on board the train and remain unaccounted for at the time of this update.

 

Search operations are also being sustained.” Chinelo Megafu-Nwando, a dentist, who was said to have processed her papers to leave the country was amongst the list of people reportedly dead. Chinelo announced on Twitter that she had been shot and needed prayers. A few hours later, she was confirmed dead by the state government, while her remains were deposited in the mortuary of St Gerard Catholic Hospital, Kaduna.

 

The Director of the National Board for Technical Education, Abdul Kofarmata; the Kwara State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Akinsola Akinwunmi; and the TUC General Secretary, Musa-Lawal Ozigi were all also confirmed dead in the attack.

 

According to the victims, the terrorists, who were between the ages of 18 and 22, planted an Improvised Explosive Device on the rail tracks around Dutse. Detonating the device caused the train to derail and fall on its side, which gave the terrorists the opportunity to attack the passengers. The victims say the train was sporadically shot at, and as the terrorists approached the train, they dragged some passengers into a waiting van and drove into the bush before the very late arrival of the security operatives.

 

At the time of the press release, a large number of the passengers were still unaccounted for, including the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan. According to reports, he was last seen boarding the train, and all efforts to reach him since the attack proved futile. A former Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Ibrahim Wakkala, was abducted but was later set free.

 

Relatives of passengers on the plane were seen at the Rigasa Rail Station in Kaduna busy making calls and looking worried. A lady who identified herself as Mayowa told the PUNCH correspondent that her sister’s husband was among the passengers of the train and nothing had been heard from him since the attack.

 

A survivor of the attack told journalists that they heard a loud bang when the bomb exploded. According to him, after the loud bang, came gunshots everywhere. He said that the passengers who were about a thousand, all fell on each other when the train derailed.
“Many were wounded. Some were hit by bullets as the terrorists closed in, trying to infiltrate the coaches. “As the confusion heightened, many ran into the bushes on both sides of the track. It was by the will of Allah that I survived,” he said.

 

The Governor of Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai commended all those who participated in the evacuation and appealed to the hospitals to attend to them diligently. He also directed the Ministry of Health to be in contact with the hospitals as the government will bear the cost of their treatment.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari gave a statement 24 hrs later, describing the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train as “callous” and a matter of concern. The President directed the immediate conclusion of all the processes for the implementation of the security surveillance and monitoring solution for the Abuja to Kaduna railway line and that this is extended to cover the Lagos-Ibadan railway line.

 

He ordered the military to deal ruthlessly with terrorists, asking them to not spare anyone who unlawfully wields an AK-47 rifle. He also directed the Nigerian Railway Corporation to speedily repair the damaged lines and restore services without delay.

 

His statement reads, “No one should be allowed to hold the country to ransom. Like most Nigerians, I am deeply pained by its occurrence, the second of its type, which has resulted in the death of a yet-to-be-determined number of passengers and others who suffered injuries. The attack on the train, a safe means of transport to many, is callous; and our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers for the injured.”

 

The President gave these directives in Abuja, Tuesday, after receiving briefs from the Service Chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Faruk Yahaya, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, as well as Major General Samuel Adebayo, the Chief of Defence Intelligence and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi in the State House.

 

The House of Representatives is not left out, as they invited the leaders of Nigeria’s security to an emergency meeting and called on the president to declare a state of emergency on the alarming rate of insecurity in Nigeria. However, after an extensive discussion, they resolved to meet with the heads of the military to discuss the security situation in the country.

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, visited the scene of the attack and ordered the army to intensify their efforts to rescue the abducted citizens. The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi disclosed that infrastructure worth over N3bn has been destroyed by the terrorists. Ironically, that same amount of money will be used to procure drones to secure the railways.

 

He stated that the cost of the equipment required to secure the tracks doesn’t equate to the lives of Nigerians lost to the attack. Recall that this was the second attack on the railway facility.

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