By Stephen Ubanna
Bashir Jamoh, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, who has been under intense pressure from several quarters both within and outside Kaduna state, to contest the 2023, governorship election on the Platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC, has joined millions of Nigerians to Commiserate with Nasir El-Rufai, the state governor on the Monday night, March 28, 2022, attacks attacks by Bandits on the scheduled Abuja-Kaduna Train service, leading to the death of eight passengers including Yusuf Idris, a former Zamfara state, described as haven for the Bandits , former Deputy governor.
I a letter that was said to have been sent to the Kaduna state governor and signed by him, the NIMASA , Director General, had expressed ‘’shock over the incidents’’, while sending his condolences to the families of the deceased and the entire people of the state.‘’Many Allah be with you at this trying time and crown your efforts to bring peace progress and prosperity to Kaduna state with immense success’’, he had remarked.
He has urged the people of the north western state ‘’to keep faith with both the stat state and the Federal governments in their quest to find a lasting solution to the security challenges facing the state’’. An aggrieved Jamoh had said that ‘’good shall always prevail evil’’, urging the people ‘’to be vigilant and give credible information on suspicious activities in and around the state to the relevant security agencies to track the Bandits’.
The Bandits who have been terrorising Kaduna state for years, had trapped the passenger train which was heading to the Kaduna before launching the attack which was said to have left eight Passengers dead. Anas IroDanusa, a passenger in the ill-fated train had said that the Bandits planted explosives ‘’to halt the train and were trying to force their way on board but gunshots were being heard outside. The train was said to have stopped about 25Kmor 16 miles from Kaduna when the attack happened, an official of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, had said.
Fidet Okhiria, an Engineer and Managing Director, NRC, had said that the Abuja-Kaduna Passenger train had crried many Passengers, which the corporation Abuja station manifest had shown to beThere were said to be 900 on board the train .
The attack on the Abuja-Kaduna Passenger train, may have informed why the Corporation had announced on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, that it was suspending operations on the route, described as one of the most popular, nationwide -until further notice.
Ali Ndume, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, had attributed the Bandits attacks on the Abuja-Kaduna train to the President Muhammadu Buari led APC , government, over its Complacency to the countryy’s security challenges.
He had said that thre is a ‘’bunch and a lot of kleptocracy in the system’’, insisting that the government must do something a bout it Recall that Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rivers state and minster of Tansportation had said that the Bandits attack on the Abuja –Kaduna train could have been avoided ‘’if digital security equipment had been procured.
Amaechi, who could hide his feelings had said that members of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had rejected the purchase of a digital security equipment at a contract of $3.7 billion meant for the Railway, which had put the country where it is today. But Ndume had said that the minister has no valuable reason to justify the Bandits attack s on the Passenger train as he maintains that the Corporation, at the instance of the minister, with Presidential approval, can order or import the digital security items, install the immediately within three days instead of giving excuses which was a mark of failure.
Meanwhile, Usman Alkali Baba, Inspector General of Police, OGP, was said to have acquired five additional high –powered unmanned Aerial vehicles, UAVs, to improve surveillance operations to checkmate Criminal activities in the country.
The IGP , had said that the acquision of the UAVs, is the manifestation of the his determination ‘’to integrate the use of innovative technology in the law enforcement duties of the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, and ultimately enhance the Force intelligence gathering and operational capabilities.
According to him, ‘’the drones will go a long way to assist the Police in monitoring active crime scenes, coordinating response operations and providing aerial support to responding officers. Informed sources told The Value News that the UAVs, include an ALTI Transition, capable of covering up to 50Km in a single flight with high endurance of up 14 hours. This is in addition to the EListair Orion fixed-wing aircraft, capable of covering 92 Km altitude with high endurance of up to 150 hours and other sensitive and forensic –based features.
Olumuyiwa Adejobi, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, and police spokesperson had said in in a statement that that UAVs will be ‘’remotely operated by police pilots from the police airwing ho have undergone specialized training.
As a prelude to forestalling future attacks on Pager train, the IGP, was said to have directed the immediate abd strategic deployment of the drones to areas prone to high –security breaches for monitoring, and intelligence gathering to tackle the Bandits and other activities headlong.
In a related development, the Nigerian government stat appears to have bowed to pressure to engage locals in Communities where the Bandits operate along the rail.