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Saturday, September 24, 2022

#Buhari’s Government Extends Closure Of Abuja-Kaduna Train Services Over Abducted Passengers, Approves N1.4billion To Repair Facilities

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The federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that it will be insensitive to the plight of families whose loved ones are still in captivity to restart the Abuja-Kaduna train services now.

The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, disclosed this on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, while fielding questions from State House reporters at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, two core matters remained at the heart of the delay in the resumption of Abuja-Kaduna train services suspended after the March 2022 attack.

The minister said these included families traumatised over their members still in captivity of terrorists and the need to have surveillance facilities to monitor the tracks.

He said government was looking at the best options in terms of the surveillance including concessioning it in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Asked about definite time lines to execute the initiative, Sambo said: “If I give a timeline, I’ll be lying to you. It will be insensitive to restart the service if some families weep day and night over their members still in the bush.”

The minister said government was mindful of cost involved but should be able to report definite progress in about a month.

He announced that FEC approved a contract for the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) worth about N1.49 billion for the repair of cranes.

Recall, in July, 2022, members of the abducted passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train besieged the entrance of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Abuja, demanding government’s intervention in the release of the victims.

The protesters had carried placards with different inscriptions including hashtag “#FreeKadunaTrainAttackVictims.” Some of the inscriptions read, “Mr. President please help us,” “President Buhari Pls help us,” “We hardly sleep with our two eyes closed,” “The victims are dying in captivity,” “Our blood pressure keeps on rising every day,” amongst others, demanding an urgent intervention from the Nigerian government.

Meanwhile, the numbers of victims still in captivity has reduced to 27 following the release of others by the terrorists.

 

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