Nigeria’s Federal Government says train services on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will resume this November.
Mu’azu Sambo, Minister Of Transportation, disclosed this on Monday while giving the score card of his ministry in Abuja.
According to him, adequate security has been put in place to ensure the safety of passengers but did not give any specific date for the resumption.
Sambo said the ministry has learnt enough lessons from the attack in March that led to the suspension of train service on the Abuja-Kaduna route.
The minister also noted that a system has been put in place that will ensure prompt monitoring of movements on the rail tracks.
According to him, the system would afford President Muhammadu Buhari, concerned ministries and agencies as well as security agencies the opportunity to see what goes on on the tracks without delays.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) suspended train service along the route after Boko Haram terrorists attacked a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.
The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack had attracted international and national outrage.
The terrorists, who attacked the train in Kaduna, released hostages piecemeal with the last release being on October 5, 2022.
Distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.
Sambo had said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will not resume until all those kidnapped by bandits in March are rescued and reunited with their families.
A terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6, 2022, arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and returned to Nigeria the next day.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had alleged that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of kidnap victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.
Popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest of Mamu.
Gumi had asked the security agency to charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, rather than keeping him in custody.
But the DSS, in its reaction, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on the ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said have remained ‘mindboggling’.