Not less than 500 passengers from Lagos on Friday enjoyed the free-train ride provided by Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun that was packaged by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
Some of the passengers who spoke to NAN commended the governor for availing them yet another opportunity to celebrate the Easter with their families and loved ones in Osun.
NAN reports that the present administration has been providing such free rides for indigenes of Osun, during various festivities, since the inception of his administration.
It has always afforded the citizens of Osun residing outside the state the opportunity to spend such festivities with their loved ones in Osun.
NAN also reports that the free-train ride which departed the Ido Terminus of the NRC in Lagos Mainland, at 1.40 p.m., as against its scheduled time of 11:00 a.m., would stop to drop passengers at various train stations on its route.
The train stations where it was scheduled to pick up more passengers on the route include: Agege, Ijoko, Itori, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ede, Ikirun. Osogbo and Inisha respectively, before stopping at its destination in Osogbo, where all the passengers are expected to disembark.
The train is expected to return the passengers to Lagos on Easter Monday, for them to return to their various means of livelihood on Tuesday.
A civil servant with the Lagos State Government, Mr Kayode Odemakin, told NAN that he did not believe that the Aregbesola-led administration could provide this train ride at this period, when the state was facing some financial challenges.
“I know that Osun is facing a financial crisis because it had yet to pay their workers’ salaries for some months running.
“I was surprised when l read in the newspapers that it would provide the usual free ride,” Odemakin said.
A trader and a mother of four, Mrs Felicia Akeju, who said that this was her first time of enjoying the free-train ride, commended the Osun State Government, saying that her children were happy experiencing a ride in the train.
“My children are very happy riding in the train for the first time and also excited that they will be spending their Easter holiday with their grandparents in Osogbo.
“I pray this free ride will be sustained for people to be able to visit their hometowns in future,” Akeju said.
When contacted on phone, Mr Adeseyi Sijuwade, the Managing Director of the NRC, told NAN that ,although, the train was set to depart as scheduled but the engineers had to put some logistics together to ensure a safe journey.
He appealed to the passengers to bear with the corporation, saying that their safety was paramount to the corporation .
Sijuwade also assured them of better services from the NRC.
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