The senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Nicholas Tofowomo, has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to establish railway police at every station to curb the attacks on railway passengers and station workers in the country.
Tofowomo who is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, which covers railways and mass transit,
made the appeal in a statement while reacting to the attack on the railway station in Edo State by some suspected bandits last Saturday.
The federal lawmaker, in the statement issued by his media aide, Mr Olumide Akinrinlola, lamented the porosity of security arrangements at railway stations and the incessant attacks on passengers by terrorists.
He said, “The president has done very well over the ray of opportunities created by the railway revolution embarked upon by his administration. But there is a need for him to complete his good work by establishing the ‘railway police’ at every station to provide physical and procedural security measures to mitigate every type of security threat.”
“If established, they should be provided with effective wireless devices and monitoring screens to communicate and monitor the movement of the train from one station to another so that security breaches could be mitigated. In the UK and other developed countries, they have railway police.”
Tofowomo added, “For example, a train travelling from London to Manchester could be monitored by the railway police through cameras attached to the train and linked with the monitoring screens at the office of the railway police sited at the railway station.
“This is the standard in developed countries. I, therefore, urge the President to do this before the expiration of his administration to forestall the re-occurrence of what happened at the Igueben Train Station in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State where scores of passengers waiting to board the train to Warri in Delta State were kidnapped by suspected herdsmen on Saturday evening.”
The Ondo South lawmaker expressed sympathy to the families, relations and friends of those who were kidnapped at the train station, saying the formation of the railway police would help to stop further attacks and mitigate every type of security threat in the future if established by the president.
“While I express my sympathy to the families, relations and friends of those who were kidnapped at Igueben Train Station, Mr President should be proactive in arresting security breaches with the timely formation of the railway police at our railway stations across the country to stop the reoccurrence of attacks on railway passengers in Nigeria,” he said.
reports that seven victims have been rescued since three days that the kidnapping of 32 people at the train station in Igueben, Edo State, took place.
It was gathered on Tuesday that the seventh victim, said to be a woman, was rescued by security agencies combing the area.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Edo State Police Command, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said, “Yes, a woman has been rescued, making it a total of seven persons rescued so far.”