Barely a year after terrorists attacked a Kaduna-bound train from Abuja, at a place called Katari in Kaduna State, the Edo State Police Command has said scores of passengers waiting to board a train from the Igueben station in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State to Warri in Delta State were kidnapped by armed gunmen on Saturday evening.
Many of the travellers were also reportedly injured.
The Edo Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the incident in a statement.
The statement claimed that the abductors, armed with AK 47 rifles, invaded the train station and shot sporadically into the air before abducting scores of intending travellers into the bush.
Reacting, the Federal Government of Nigeria described the kidnapping of the train passengers as despicable and utterly barbaric.
Mr Henshaw Ogubike, the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Transportation, said this in a statement in Abuja.
The statement read in part, “The Public is hereby reassured that the security agencies are making efforts to rescue the kidnapped train passengers.
“The Nigeria Police is on the trail of the criminals and have mobilised with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers.
“Further details will be communicated later.”
Meanwhile, The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has dismissed reports of the suspension of train services on the Itakpe-Warri axis following the attack by gunmen on Ekehen Train Station in the Igbuebem Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State.
The Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria, told Channels Television via telephone that the train services have not been suspended, contrary to reports making the rounds.
He confirmed that there was an attack which the police and the NRC are currently looking into, but said the incident has not disrupted operations at the station.
“As I speak to you now, a train is running,” Okhiria said, adding that the railway corporation is putting in place measures to ensure the safety of passengers.