Panic as Abuja-Kaduna train breaks down in kidnapping hotspot

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An Abuja-Kaduna train with identification SP00003, which took off from Kaduna, heading to Abuja, has broken down on the outskirts of Jere Local Government Area of Kaduna State, an area notorious for kidnapping and armed robbery.

The incident prompted anger and disappointment from the passengers on board the train.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the train, which took off at about 10:35 am on Friday, stopped in Jere at about 12:20pm.

After a few minutes, an announcement was issued to the passengers apologising for the stoppage, which was blamed on a mechanical fault.

The apology, however, did little to douse the anger of some of the passengers.

Usman Bala, a passenger, said he regretted taking the train, and that despite the high cost of tickets, the locomotive coaches were not being well maintained to avoid breakdown.

“This is typical of Nigeria. Nice idea, but no maintenance culture. I took this train hoping to meet a 1pm marriage ceremony. Now it is too late.

“I regret not taking a car. I would have been in Abuja now,” he said.

Another passenger Aisha Bature, also blamed the authorities in charge of the train, accusing them of diverting proceeds meant for servicing the coaches.

“Despite the high transport fare, look at what we’ve got for showing faith. Is this what I am paying N1, 300 to Abuja for?

“Look at it, no maintenance. Honestly, I am disappointed,” she lamented.

Olukunmi Williams, also a passenger, said he was angry and uncomfortable because of the location where the train broke down which according to him was not safe and no alternative means of transport was available nearby.

“We are in the middle of a bush. We are not safe. Anything can happen. That is why I am very uncomfortable with this development. All I want now is to be where we are safe.

“It is not a crime if there is a breakdown, but our safety should not be compromised in the process. I am very disappointed. The train authorities have failed us,” he said.

NAN also reports that he management of the train service promptly sent another locomotive to the location to convey the passengers to their destinations.

The management apologised to the passengers and promised that such development would be avoided in future.

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