The Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, on Monday directed the management of the Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) to establish a host community relations committee in all the stations across the country.
Adegoroye gave the directive on Monday after his assessment visit to the Tom Ikimi train station in Igueben, Edo State, where some passengers were kidnapped last weekend.
He was on the assessment visit in company of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria and other top officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
The Minister, who held a meeting with security operatives at the station, directed the management of the NRC to immediately establish a Nigerian Railway Corporation Host Community Relations.
This, the Minister stressed, is to reinforce communal vigilance and security of the train tracks, stations and passengers all over the country.
This was one of the strategic decisions arrived at the operational meeting he held with stakeholders at Igueben station to forestall further occurrence of such dastardly act in future.
The Minister said: “First of all, let me say that on behalf of the federal government of Nigeria, I want to express our sympathies to the families, to the relations and the friends of those who were kidnapped by these terrorists, these bandits.
“We have decided that because these stations are located in certain communities all over the country, it is in the best interest of those host communities to ensure that these federal government investments are protected. That is why it is important for us to work hand in hand with the host communities.”
Adegoroye added that the station will not be shut down because of the incident as the federal government will neither be cowed nor intimidated by bandits.
“I can assure you that the federal government remains undeterred. The Nigerian Railway Corporation remains undeterred. And that is why we will continue to operate this rail service, we’re not going to stop. All we need to do is to ensure that we cross our t’s and dot our I’s regarding the safety of our people, the passengers”, he said.
Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan
Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Minister of State for Transportation