The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), on Tuesday, blamed saboteurs for attacks on trains and rail stations across the country including Saturday’s abduction of intending passengers at its train station in Igueben in Edo State.
The railway corporation said the government should ensure that security in Nigeria covers everyone and not just train stations.
“We cannot just say we are deploying to rail and the other systems in Nigeria should be left out; it should be holistic,” said NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria on Channels Television’s Sunrise Dailyprogramme.
He said the corporation put some security measures in place at its train stations across the country after terrorists attacked a moving train in Kaduna State on March 28, 2022.
“We planned but we also have people who are trying to sabotage our efforts,” he said.
Over 30 intending passengers were kidnapped on Saturday afternoon when gunmen attacked a train station in Igueben in Edo State. Six of the abductees have been rescued, the authorities said about 48 hours after the attack.
According to NRC boss, with the intensity of the security operatives deployed, the remaining victims will be rescued soon.
He said security measures were put in place to prevent collateral damage but “we have not gotten to the peak of architectural structure at our train stations”.
Okhiria said it is out of the ordinary to have such technological security infrastructure at railway stations, saying “a situation in Nigeria where a railway operator has to become a security expert should not be the case”.
He argued that holistic security solutions will go a long way to forestall future attacks on trains in Nigeria.
He described the Edo incident as a deliberate attack by saboteurs who try to profit from the insecurity in Nigeria.
“It has happened, we should look ahead and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It doesn’t mean that there is that 100% perfect system that cannot be sabotaged. At Kaduna, they bombed the train, at Igueben, they raided the station. Certain ideas are coming like fencing our station and all,” he said.
He, however, maintained that the security in the country must be all-encompassing and not just limited to train stations only.