The Abuja-Kaduna train attack happened last week Monday, where terrorist first bombed the train, abruptly stopping it before shooting and kidnapping some of the passengers.
One week after the attack, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says 168 passengers are yet to be accounted for.
According to the manifest of the corporation, it stated that there were 362 passengers on board . In its latest update, NRC confirmed the safety of 14 more passengers on board the train, bringing the total number of safe passengers to 186.
Of the remaining 176 passengers, eight have been confirmed dead, while the families of 22 passengers have formally declared them missing. This indicates that a total of 168 passengers are yet to be accounted for.
In a statement, the NRC’s Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria said 51 phone numbers on the manifest were either switched off or not reachable since Tuesday morning – some hours after the attack. “Another 35 phone numbers on the manifest are ringing, but no response from the other end,” he said, adding that 60 phone numbers on the manifest when called responded as non-existening
“Two coaches (SP 00016 and SP 00017) earlier re-railed have safely been moved to Rigasa Station. This brings the total number of recovered coaches safely moved to NRC stations to seven. Intensive work continues on track repairs. More concrete sleepers were moved to the site, while some sections of the twisted tracks have been straightened.” he said.
Though, several assurances of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, bandits yesterday raided some houses at Anguwar Maji in Jere town along the Kaduna-Abuja highway and abducted 22 villagers. Usman had on Saturday led a special squad of armed security operatives on patrol of the dreaded highway, declaring it safe for motorists.
A resident of Anguwar Maji, Shehu Bala, confirmed the latest abduction, happened at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Jere, which shares a boundary with Tafa-Sabon-Wuse in Niger State, is located on the ever-busy highway.
“The bandits came in large numbers as some of them wore army uniforms. They moved from house to house and woke He said the bandits, who came in large numbers, invaded some houses and whisked away 22 residents, including five women.
“The bandits came in large numbers as some of them wore army uniforms. They moved from house to house and woke their victims up before they marched them into the bush at gunpoint”. he said.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), yesterday, urged the Federal Government to stand up to its responsibility by arresting and prosecuting the terrorist terrorising innocent Nigerians, rather than playing the ostrich on matters of insecurity.
In the statement signed by its President and Archbishop-Elect of Owerri, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the bishops called on the government to take urgent steps to unmask the marauding terrorists and their sponsors without further delay.
The statement titled: ‘Nigeria: A nation groans in pains,’ was made available to journalists through the National Directorate of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja.
It said: “The news of the recent attacks on trains by terrorists has attracted public outcry, outrage and grief. Nigerians are still mourning with anguished hearts over the brutal slaughtering of fellow citizens during those bloody attacks. We unequivocally condemn those brutal acts of barbarism and brazen assault on our sovereign dignity as a nation.
“The train route from Abuja to Kaduna has been the safety net for thousands of travellers commuting between both cities. Now the terrorists have proven that no one is safe on that route anymore.
“Just last week, there were also reports that over 200 terrorists on motorbikes brazenly rode through the runway of the Kaduna International Airport in broad daylight, killing at least one person. All these occurred shortly after the incessant attacks and killings by faceless terrorists in the communities of Southern Kaduna and many other parts of the Middle Belt.
“That all these atrocities against the people and the nation happen without a single arrest or prosecution, seem to give credibility to the widespread belief that the government is complacent, helpless or compromising.
“Considering the billions of naira appropriated for security and the fight against terrorism in recent times, it is difficult to imagine that a large number of terrorists, who unleashed terror on unarmed and law-abiding citizens can disappear in broad daylight without a trace.
“It is indeed very hard to believe that our security apparatus lacks intelligence or the ability to fight and defeat terrorists in our nation. Nigerians are sick of flimsy excuses and bogus promises of the government to deal with terrorists.
“As a mark of honour, the government should rise to its primary responsibility of protecting the life and property of its citizens. Our country has long teetered on the precipice of a failed state. Government should, therefore, stop trying to play the ostrich as the nation profusely bleeds and take urgent steps to unmask these marauding terrorists and their sponsors without further delay.”
They also called on the government to take effective measures to address and put an end to the hardship and suffering in the land.