Abuja-Kaduna Train Services to Resume Operations January Next Year

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, yesterday said the suspended Abuja-Kaduna train services would resume operation in January 2023 following the release of the remaining  23 kidnapped victims.

Sambo added that the federal government did not pay any ransom for the release of the victims.

While briefing journalists in Abuja, the minister said: “I want to state categorically that because this government does not support or approve ransom payment, no Kobo was paid in exchange for the release of the 23 hostages and even for the release of the other hostages.”

 Sambo said the victims were released following the combined efforts of a committee set up by the federal government, made up of retired generals and some retired public officers of high ranking and status who assisted the military and the security agencies throughout the process of securing the release of the hostages.

According to him, “after securing the release of the victims, they were taken to the Nigeria Air Force Hospital and are currently recuperating at the Nigeria Defense Academy Hospital in Kaduna State.

“It is not appropriate to reveal exactly what measures were taken in order to secure the release of hostages of this nature. The security agencies were charged to ensure no collateral damage in freeing the victims and that is to make sure that no one hostages’ life is lost in the process of securing them.”

When probed further if the victims would be compensated, Sambo said, “honestly I have no answer for that question.”

He however disclosed that commercial services may resume in three months after all necessary security measures have been put in place, noting: “in the next three months, we will put in place a sustainable plan that will ensure that our rail lines are safe and secure and people can travel on them with their minds and hearts assured of safety.”

He added, “Now, I can tell you, we are going to resume very soon and in order to resume train services, we have to put in place measures that will ensure that going forward such an incident never ever happens in this country. And so, we have a short term and a long term plan.”

He added that both long term and short term measures have been designed by the ministry, stating: “in the meantime the short term measures will be urgently put in place to ensure resumption of train services very soon.”

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