The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced that the damaged track between Abuja and Kaduna has been repaired.
Mr Fidet Okhiria, the Corporation’s Managing Director, confirmed the development in a statement issued on Thursday in Lagos.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Okhiria said the south end of the tracks, which had been destroyed by explosion, had been successfully connected to the north end.
“The connection of the AKTS line has been achieved. This implies that the major track components (Concrete Sleepers and Rails) have been completely laid.
Okhiria stated that the technical team would continue with other track stabilization activities such as ballasting, tempering, fastening of accessories (clips, bolts, and nuts), and welding.
He stated that, while not damaged, the Loco 2502 involved in the attack was trapped at the Rigasa end due to a lack of route access, but that it had now crossed to the Idu end and was being examined and undergoing routine maintenance.
He stated that the train service would resume as soon as additional security measures were put in place.
He reminded passengers that they would be required to provide their NIN registration number for verification prior to purchasing train tickets, citing the need for improved passenger profiling and safety on board.
The managing director said: “We will continue to collaborate with security agencies to ensure that all persons being held are rescued unhurt and reunited with their families soon.
Bandits attacked; victims kidnapped
The victims were kidnapped on March 28 when bandits attacked a Kaduna-bound train.
8 passengers were killed, and an unconfirmed number of people were kidnapped.
The abductors have posted several photos and videos of the victims on the internet.
They have also contacted family members and demanded ransom payments ranging from N5m to N100m for the release of the captives.
In exchange for the hostages, the bandits are said to demand the release of 16 of their top commanders and sponsors who are being held by the government.
The federal government has stated that it is working to ensure the victims’ safe rescue.
Writing by Saadatu Albashir