Home News Insecurity: We didn’t ground operations nationwide, says NRC

Insecurity: We didn’t ground operations nationwide, says NRC

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The management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), yesterday, refuted claims that it grounded its train operations nationwide as speculated in some quarters, but that it only took precautions in some of its corridors due to communal clashes and presence of bandits along operational axis.

Also, security agencies attached to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on day-three of the demolition exercise in Kuje, has reclaimed a forest, suspected to be hideout for bandits in Pasali on Kuje-Gwagwalada Road .

But the NRC, in a statement in Abuja, stated: “The management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), wishes to inform the general public, especially, our numerous valued customers that NRC wishes to inform the general public that NRC did not ground its train operations as speculated in some quarters.

“The Warri-Itakpe train service is fully operational as scheduled, however, there is a temporary suspension of the passenger train stoppage at Ajaokuta station due to communal clashes pending restoration of peace in the area.

“Similarly, in compliance with the Honourable Minister’s directive, the Abuja to Kaduna passenger train service remains suspended until all the passengers held hostage as a result of the train attack by the bandits are completely released to their relations and the additional security system is put in place to avoid reoccurrence.

“In addition, the Lagos to Kano express passenger train will not resume operation following suspected bandits presence along the Minna to Kaduna rail corridor in the North Western district of the Corporation.”

Meanwhile, security agencies attached to the FCTA, during the raid, mowed trees and shanties in the forest and reclaimed the area originally proposed to serve as vegetable and fruit market.

Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the Minister of FCT, Ikharo Attah, said the demolition of Pasali forest adjacent Kuje Local Education Authority secretariat was to rid the area of illegalities and restore the master plan.

But those affected by the demolition of the structures behind the prison command on the railway corridor, claimed the disputed land was sold to them by the traditional ruler of Kuje.

They accused the monarch of compounding their misery and for not doing enough to protect their interest.

One of the victims, Briget Ekelechukwu of Divine Chosen Spiritual Ministry for the Less Privileged, said she was deceived into buying the land by the traditional ruler, who kept assuring her that the railway authorities would not object to the acquisition.

She said had been at the railway corridor for over 12 years, adding: “I have never been to Kuje, no surveyor measured this land for me. But after we started staying here, the first people that came to meet me was the Gomo family, I told them I do not know them.

“It was only five years ago that l discovered it was a railway corridor. I have about 19 children. I registered the Ministry but I have not completed the registration for the orphanage. My registration with Social Development Secretariat is there,” she said.

Her allegation was reinforced by another victim, Benedict Chidozie, who accused the traditional ruler and Kuje courtiers as the cause of their problem, insisting no body could build without their consent.

But the allegations were disputed by the Secretary to Gomo of Kuje, Alhaji Mohammed Usman.

“What the people are saying is false, let them bring the agreement that His Royal Highness sold land to them. Anybody accusing the Gomo, should bring a proof. We have nothing to hide,” Usman said.

Nonetheless, a resident of the area, David Musa, has commended government for clearing Kuje, noting the demolition would restore sanity to the area.

He said the forest provided a sanctuary for criminals, because of the trees, saying with its clearance, the problem of insecurity in Kuje would be reduced to some extent.

“Suspected bandits come here to relax during the day and strike in the night. Yesterday about 15 people were kidnapped in Kwaku area in Kuje. It is good that these places are cleared,” he said.

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