There are strong indications that more than 30 passengers and members of staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation have been taken hostage by suspected armed herdsmen who attacked the Igueben train sub-station in Edo State on Saturday evening at about 5pm.

The Local Government Liaison Officer in the  area, Mr Best Oseh said on Sunday that over 30 passengers comprising passengers, NRC staff and  indigenes of Igueben were taken away by the gunmen.

According to him a combined team of security agencies are combing the forest in the bid to rescue those abducted.

“As I speak, people are in the field all over the place, vigilante, security agencies and other people, everybody is concerned but we have to be careful with what we divulge so that we won’t jeopardize the processes we are doing.

“As for the category of people kidnapped, some of them are from Igueben while others are passengers from other places and as for the number,  for now we are looking at over 30 but we can only give comprehensive number when preliminary investigations are concluded.” He said

Also, an indigene of the area, Mr. Odia Benson told journalists that the gunmen  released two children while a woman escaped.

According to him, among those in custody of the kidnappers were personnel of the NRC including the station manager and ticket clerks.

He said that the leaders of the various security outfits such as the the Commissioner of Police the 4 Brigade Nigerian Army Commander, the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) were at Igueben to supervise the search for the abducted passengers.

“The train normally arrives by 5 pm so as at about 20 minutes to 5, bandits just came through the bush part and invaded the place.

“They took away the station manager, took away the booking clerk and about 29 other passengers made up of males and females.

 “As I speak with you, the Deputy Governor left the place about an hour ago, the Commissioner of Police and his men are here, the 4 Brigade Nigerian Army Commander is here, the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) is here and many paramilitary representatives: the DPO Igueben and his men, the Esan Akatakpa Security network, the hunters association have been in the forest since last night doing bush combing. We are hoping that by the end of today, they will be rescued.

“The railway station is in the forest, there is no security, no police, no vigilante and they are at the mercy of God. The station is in Igeueben town, just about 1.2 km away from Igueben General Hospital.

“I think about only three of the victims are from Igueben; one of them is from Ward 8,we had another who is married to an Igueben man but based in Warri while others are from Ekpoma, from Uromi, Ubiaja, some are not even from Edo State.

“The kidnappers released two children, it is believed that they felt the children will slow down their movements. They dropped them in an abandoned petrol station, they called the family of the mother of the children that they should go and pick the children from the place they dropped them.

“One woman also escaped with her little baby. The woman escaped and found herself in Opoji  which in Esan Central local government area”


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