It is sad hearing terrible stories of Nigerian bandits attacking the trains and sending fear and panic on train commuters who felt relaxed that the trains were safer owing to onslaught of criminals along Kaduna – Abuja expressway.
It is to President Buhari’s credit that the trains and rail tracks abandoned many years ago by previous regimes are gradually coming back to life with billions of money sunk into it.
Regrettably,while the government is doing its own beat to well up the welfare of Nigerians,criminals are on duty destroying the good work.
Reports from the Kaduna-Abuja train transport where bandits were said to have attacked a passenger train in motion,damaging the rail tracks and heartlessly shooting at the train pilot, leaves much to be desired.
There have been calls for stopping of the all important Kaduna-Abuja train route until further notice.That call anyway,is not a solution to the problem.
A lot of blame rest with the railway authorities and the federal government for leaving the newly rehabilitated rail system porous.
There ought to be a serious security network or arrangement to secure the rail tracks which are open to attacks any time of the day or night.
Some,if not most of the rail tracks pass through bushes and difficult terrains.
There have been recent reports of bandits vandalising rail tracks and selling them off to iron smelters.
Nigerians await to hear the type of punishment meted to rail track vandals…and nothing tangible has come out of it.
The early handlers of the Nigerian railway provided for a Nigerian Railway Police Division.In those early years,there were also patrol men on the tracks and before a train moved out to another station,a wire signal is sent to communicate for an on coming train.
There was what railway management called “shunters and patrol men”.Are they still in existence ?
Nigerian government has been donning the toga of recklessness in handling critical infrastructure.This is what is playing out in the Railways.
All said and done.The option is for the federal government to tighten up security along the rail tracks.The option of Air Patrol and heavily armed train security personnel should be considered.
The federal government should think of the possibility of deploying drones to collect information on the security situation along train tracks.
It is a pity that some Nigerians have taken to destroying what ever remains that has been provided for welfare of all and sundry.
The Nigerian government should respond swiftly and bring all those behind this to justice.
Those who prescribed stiff penalty such as life sentence or death penalty for such criminals may not have made a mistake.
A stitch in time saves,nine.


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