The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, has denied any attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train by armed men suspected to be kidnappers yesterday.
Some national dailies (not THISDAY) had reported earlier that armed men suspected to be kidnappers had attacked the Abuja-bound train with guns and other projectiles.
The train, which left the Rigassa Train Station in Kaduna at around 10a.m. was attacked a few kilometres to Katari, about 70 kilometres to Abuja.
But Okhiria, in a short WhatsApp message to our transport reporters, denied the incident.
“This news was not correct,” Okhiria stated in the statement.
Okhiria said he had been inundated with calls since the news went viral on the social media.
Quoting Police sources, Okhiria said what happened was that a stone was thrown at the train by some boys, which according to him only affected the window glass of Coach SP4.
He further stated that the situation was promptly arrested by police escorts on the train who restored calm before the train continued its journey, stressing that passengers disembarked peacefully at the Idu Station in Abuja without any other incident.
Ohiria assured train passengers of their safety even as he said investigation would still continue into the cause of the Katari incident with a view to dousing the fears of the commuting public who have come to see the train as very good, reliable and safer alternative for commuting between Abuja and Kaduna.
He said the Police would continue their onslaught to dislodge the road of kidnappers who have turned the Abuja-Kaduna road into a nightmare for travelers.
According to him, “we are assuring train passengers of their safety. The trains remain the safest and cheapest alternative to the road mode.”