Following the reccuring incidents of train attacks by hoodlums, a security and intelligence expert, Dr. Kabiru Adamu, has called on the Nigerian government to install CCTV cameras at railway stations across the country to forestall further attacks.
Adamu who appeared on Channels Television Sunrise Daily programme on Monday morning, made the call while commenting on the attack at Tom Ikimi Train Station, Igueben, Edo State, on Saturday.
He said the entire railway system in the country remains vulnerable to attack.
The attack which occured on Saturday afternoon, led to scores of train passengers missing.
The victims, reportedly, were waiting to board a train to Warri in Delta State when they were abducted on Saturday afternoon by gunmen.
According to the Edo state commissioner for communication and orientation, Chris Nehikhare, 32 passengers were initially kidnapped at the train station but one managed to escape.
Police have arrested one of the suspects and investigations are currently ongoing.
Some staff of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) were among those abducted at the train station.
This is coming 10 months after bandits attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train, killing 14 passengers and abducting 65 others, who were later released after heavy amount of money was paid as ransom.
The victims were said to have been led into the bush by the gunmen. Some police sources indicated that there is ongoing operation in bushes around the area for rescue of the victims.
Speaking on the matter at Channels, monitored by Prime Business Africa, Adamu said there was no CCTV camera at the attacked station that would have helped in either preventing the attack or investigate what transpired.
He equally stated that there is absence of security operatives at the train station.
He also blamed the government for resuming train services after the Abuja-Kaduna incident without adequate measures put in place to ensure safety in the rail routes.
“We have a minister of information who promised us that the security level on the railway is adequate and is confident that that is why he is resuming the rail services when the Abuja-Kaduna rail service was resumed and I’m sure he felt that that applied to all the railway infrastructure in the country.
“But unfortunately this incident has shown clearly and has confirmed what we said when he (the minister) made that statement.
“Earlier on I explained what a good security posture in any location should be, and I can tell you with all sense of responsibility that the entire railway infrastructure unfortunately remains vulnerable.”
Adamu also advised that early warning system through traditional rulers, communities, market councils and others should be effectively utilised to prevent further attacks, as information or intelligence could be shared early to prevent attacks of any kind.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has condemned the attack, describing it as a barbaric act and assuring that the security forces are doing everything possible to rescue the captives.
This was made know in a statement released on Sunday by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Transportation, Henshaw Ogubike.
The statement read, “The public is hereby reassured that the security agencies are making efforts to rescue the kidnapped train passengers. The Nigeria Police is on the trail of the criminals and have mobilised with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers.
“The government is saddened by this unpleasant development and assures its prompt response to the ugly situation. Further details will be communicated later.”