The Nigerian government has shut down the Ekehen rail Station in Edo State till further notice.
According to Punch, this was made known in a public announcement by the NRC which was posted on the passengers’ WhatsApp Group, stating that the closure is till further notice.
The action might not be unconnected with the recent attack and kidnap of scores of passengers at the Igueben train station by some suspected herdsmen as the corporation said the decision became necessary following rising security challenges.
The notice from NRC reads, “Public Announcement: This is to inform our general public and most especially our esteemed passengers, that Ekehen Station has been temporarily closed due to security issues, till further notice.”
Another notice reads, “Due to the incident at Ekehen station on Saturday, WITS 01/ 02 will no longer stop at Ekehen Station. Please advise our customers.”
Recall that it was earlier reported that the Edo State Police command said that scores of passengers waiting to board a train from the Igueben station in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State to Warri in Delta State were kidnapped after an attack by some suspected herdsmen.
This was coming barely 10 months after a similar incident on a larger scale occurred when some terrorists attacked a Kaduna-bound train coming from Abuja, with some reported casualties and many passengers kidnapped.
The incident was confirmed in a statement issued by the Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, where he stated that the attack which took place on Saturday evening also left many passengers injured.
The police authorities in the statement said that the abductors, armed with AK 47, invaded the train station and shot sporadically into the air before abducting scores of intending travelers into the bush.
The police while noting that many of the passengers sustained bullet wounds, assured Nigerians that operatives are on the trail of the abductors with an aim to rescue the kidnap victims herded into the thickets.
The statement reads, “This is to inform the gentlemen of the press that today, 7th of January, 2023, at about 1600hrs, an unspecified number of herdsmen armed with AK 47 riffles attacked the train station at Igueben, Edo State, and kidnapped an unspecified number of passengers, who were waiting to board the train to Warri.
“The kidnappers, who shot sporadically into the air before kidnapping some passengers, left some persons with bullet wounds.
The Area Commander Irrua, DPO Igueben Division, and men have visited the scene of the crime with members of the Edo State Security Network, local vigilantes, and hunters with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers.’’