Police and management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) have denied reports of an attack yesterday morning on the Abuja-Kaduna train by armed men suspected to be kidnappers.
Kaduna State Police Command said speculation of an attack on the Abuja-bound train was false news.
Reports in circulation stated that a group of armed men suspected to be kidnappers attacked the train, which left Rigasa in Kaduna, with guns and other projectiles yesterday morning a few kilometres to Katari and about 70 kilometres to Abuja.
But the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), DSP Yakubu Sabo Abubakar, debunked the rumour of the attack, saying: “At our end here, we did not receive any report to that effect.”
He also said the NRC management had not reported such incident to them.
NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, also denied any attack on the train.
Some leading newspapers (not The Nation) had reported earlier that armed men suspected to be kidnappers had attacked the Abuja-bound train.
Okhiria, in a terse WhatsApp message to one of our correspondents, denied the occurrence of such an incident.
“This news was not correct,” Okhiria’s terse statement said.
The NRC managing director said he had been inundated with calls since the news went viral on the social media.
Quoting Police sources, Okhiria said what happened was that a stone was thrown at the train by some boys, which according to him only affected the window glass of coach SP4.
He further stated that the situation was promptly dealt with by police escorts on the train, who restored calm, before the train continued its journey and passengers disembarked peacefully at the Idu Station in Abuja, without any other incident.
Ohiria assures train passengers of their safety, saying investigation into the cause of the Katari incident still continued with a view to dousing the fears of the commuting public who had come to see the train as very good, reliable and safer alternative for commuting between Abuja and Kaduna.
“We are assuring train passengers of their safety. The trains remain the safest and cheapest alternative to the road mode,” Okhiria said.