Fear gripped passengers on Abuja-Kaduna train at the weekend when it experienced system failure near Jere, a community that experienced series of kidnapping recently.
The Friday morning train, which took off from Idu in Abuja around 7.03am had system failure twice. The first was before the train took off in Idu, while the second was at Jere in Kaduna State.
Our correspondents report that the system failure in Jere lasted 20 minutes, raising tension among passengers. It happened around 8.02am and it was rectified by 8.22am. This is the second time the train is breaking down in less than two weeks.
Announcement was made by an official of the Nigerian Railway Service (NRC) that the system failure would be rectified in two minutes. “We are sorry passengers; we are having system failure which will be rectified in two minutes.”
It however took 20 minutes to be fixed. As soon as the announcement was made passengers panicked.
Policemen in the train alighted from it and mounted a sort of security around the train.
A regular passenger of the train urged the NRC authorities to guard against a repeat of the system failure. He also advocated for the deployment of more security personnel.
“We are lucky that it did not happen at night. I pray that this is urgently looked into because this is the safest means of getting to Kaduna from Abuja,” he said.
Another passenger said: “This is the second time that I’m experiencing this. The first time we spent hours but today (Friday) we only spent 20 minutes or so. Immediately it happened, what came to my mind were kidnappers.”