The Abuja-Kaduna train that was bombed by terrorists on the night of Monday, the 28th of March, 2022 was actually a ticking time bomb!
I mean, literally; everyone who is old enough to follow the incessant terrorists’ attacks especially up north will tell you for free that the Abuja -Kaduna road is the most notorious of these horrifying attacks in the last few years.
Hundreds of Nigerians have been kidnapped on that stretch of road; millions of naira has been paid in ransom…infact still being paid and to date; hundreds more victims have died in the last three to four years…
As at last week, some Nigerians were reported to have been attacked and kidnapped on that same road.
This is the same Kaduna where hundreds of people living in many of the communities have been sacked by terrorists from their land; several farmers killed or fled; women raped; emirs and local heads taken away for ransom.
Same Kaduna where the Nigerian Defence Academy was attacked by these terrorists and just last week the Kaduna Airport was under siege for a few hours…one life was lost. At the end of the day, two Airlines, Azmah and Air Peace announced an indefinite suspension of all flights operations to Kaduna.
Adamawa, Bornu, Niger and now Kaduna states are now places no one wants to visit or live in. Several villages within these states have been emptied out by incessant terrorist attacks on the people and yet, there seems to be no respite.
The Federal government should have installed surveillance and security equipment to ensure safety of lives and continuity of the railway mode of transportation. Instead, they waited until the attack and are now trading blames.
Reports say the Chairman of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, Ibrahim Alhassan, thinks this attack was anticipated! He said, “ two months back, we got information that some people were carrying out cognizance of the tracks…”
To quote the Governor of Kaduna state, El- Rufai in a Punch report, “We know what they (terrorists) are planning. We get the reports. The problem is for the agencies to take action. Don’t wait until they attack before you respond. The Army should go after their enclaves to wipe them out. The Air Force bomb them…”
Nothing was done to shore up security of lives and we all naively assumed the terrorists would leave us be simply because we chose to hop on the train rather than risk life on the roads.
The attack left 8 passengers dead, more than 40 persons with varying degrees of injuries, several passengers missing or unaccounted for and hundreds too traumatized to relive the nightmare of the night of the 28th of March 2022.
The terrorists were said to have gone for passengers in the first class coach; the ones they are sure their families would pay huge ransoms. They took whole families, children included and killed a few other high profile individuals; the Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria and the Kwara State Chairman of the union, Comrade Akin Akinsola…the others are yet to be identified. They also killed a young medical doctor working with Said Gerald Hospital Kaduna, Dr Chinelo Megafu Nwando. She had sent out a distress message on twitter and so when it was discovered she died in that attack, it was most painful to many.
This may have been avoided and if unavoidable, could have had a lot less number of casualty if security of lives was uppermost in the minds of those who should have done their bit to protect lives while on the journey.
Now they are running kitikiti and running katakata!