Fedeal Govt Shuts Down Edo Train Station Over Abduction Of 30 … – Leadership News

The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) yesterday shut down a train station in Edo State following the abduction of train passengers waiting to board a train at the weekend.

More than 32 passengers and members of staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation were on Saturday taken hostage by attackers suspected to be armed herdsmen who attacked the Igueben train sub-station in Edo State on Saturday evening at about 5pm.

NRC said the decision to shut down the train station became necessary due to growing security challenges in the area.

train station train station train station


A public announcement by the NRC posted on the passengers’ WhatsApp group stated that the closure was “till further notice.”

Part of the statement 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.”

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Another notice to this effect also stated: “Due to the incident at Ekehen station on Saturday, WITS 01/ 02 will no longer stop at Ekehen Station. Please advise our customers.”

This is even as the director of Press and Public Relations of the ministry of Transportation, Henshaw Ogubike, said the Nigerian Police is on the trail of the criminals and have mobilised with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers.

Confirming the attack and subsequent abductions, the local government Liaison officer in the area, Best Oseh, said on Sunday that over 30 passengers, including NRC staff and  indigenes of Igueben, were whisked away by the gunmen.

He however noted that a combined team of security agencies are combing the forest in the bid to rescue those abducted.

He said, “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 don’t jeopardise 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. As for the number,  for now we are looking at over 30 but we can only give a comprehensive number when preliminary investigations are concluded.”

The spokesperson for Edo State Police Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, also confirmed the incident.

In a statement he issued in this regard, Nwabuzor said the abductors, armed with AK 47, invaded the train station and shot sporadically into the air before abducting scores of intending travellers into the bush.

He revealed that the gun men who invaded the train station in Edo state on Saturday have started making contacts with families of some of the kidnapped victims.

Edo State Command’s Public Relations Officer disclosed that the family of one of the kidnapped victims came to the police station to report that the kidnappers contacted them to pick up some of their relatives that were earlier kidnapped.

He stated that on getting to the said location and waiting for several hours, the family members did not receive their loved ones as agreed by the kidnappers.

The state police commissioner, CP Mohamed Dankwara, in company of other security agencies were on their way to the scene of the incident as of the time of filing the report.

Meanwhile, giving more information on the development, a resident in the area, Comrade Odia Benson said the abductors released two kids who were with them while a woman reportedly escaped.

He hinted some staff of the NRC, including the station manager and ticket clerk were among those abducted.

Benson said, “The train normally arrives by 5 pm. So at about 20 minutes to 5pm, 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 combing the area. ”

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 Igueben town, just about 1.2 km away from Igueben General Hospital.

“I think about 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 is based in Warri, while others are from Ekpoma, Uromi, Ubiaja, and some are not even from Edo State.

“The kidnappers released two children; it is believed that they felt the children would slow down their movements. They dropped them in an abandoned petrol station. They called the family of the mother of the children and said 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 is in Esan Central local government area.”

One Suspect Nabbed As Security Agents, Vigilantes Comb Forest

Meanwhile, the Edo State commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare, said yesterday that a combined team of the military, police, men of the vigilante network and hunters are currently on the heels of the kidnappers that attacked the Igueben train station on Saturday and abducted 32 passengers of which one escaped.

Nehikhare who gave an update on efforts of the Edo State government to rescue the kidnapped passengers in Benin on Sunday said, “At the moment, security personnel made up of the military and the police as well as men of the vigilante network and hunters are intensifying search and rescue operations in reasonable radius to rescue the kidnap victims. As at 3pm Sunday, one suspect has been captured and is helping Police with their investigation.

“One victim out of the 32 people kidnapped escaped from the hands of the abductors. We are confident that the other victims will be rescued in the coming hours.”

The commissioner also said that the deputy governor of the state, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has visited the Igueben Train Station for an on-the-spot assessment of rescue efforts and to throw the government’s weight behind the security operations.”

He noted that the Edo State government condoled with the families of the victims over the unfortunate occurrence.

Nehikhare appealed for calm and urged citizens to assist security personnel with information of suspicious movements in and around their neighborhoods, particularly in the area where the rescue operation is taking place.


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