President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the nation’s security agencies to ensure, without further delay, the release of all kidnapped passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train that was attacked on Monday by terrorists.
He also ordered the immediate arrest of the terrorists that carried out the dastardly act of attacking the train to face justice, and the implementation of integrated security surveillance for Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan rail lines.
The President gave the directives at the State House, Abuja, Tuesday after being briefed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor and service chiefs as well as the Inspector General of Police, among other top military officers, about the attack by terrorists on the Kaduna bound passenger train.
He charged the law enforcement chiefs to bring back all passengers kidnapped and ensure that each of the callous terrorists were hunted down and made to face justice for their heinous acts as no one or group should be allowed to make the country prostrate.
President Buhari reiterated his earlier directive that the military should deal ruthlessly with terrorists. He asked them to be more decisive and not spare anyone unlawfully wielding the AK 47 weapon.”No one should be allowed to hold the country to ransom,” said the President.
President Buhari strongly condemned the bombing of the passenger train, describing it as a “matter of grave concern.”According to him, “like most Nigerians, I am deeply pained by its occurrence, the second of its type, which has resulted in the death of a yet to be determined number of passengers and others who suffered injuries.
“The attack on the train, a safe means of transport to many, is callous; and our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers for the injured,” he said.The President commended the Law Enforcement agencies for their prompt response and emergency personnel who were responsible for the evacuation and treatment of the injured persons.
President Buhari also directed the immediate conclusion of all the processes for the implementation of the integrated security surveillance and monitoring solution for the Abuja to Kaduna railway line adding that this be extended to cover the Lagos-Ibadan railway line.He further directed the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) management to speedily repair the damaged lines and resume normal service without delay.
Briefing newsmen after the closed door meeting with the President Buhari, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Irabor said: “we have come to brief the President regarding the unfortunate incident of yesterday, where some criminals, bandits had gone to lay improvised explosive devices on the rail tracks and a passenger train was demobilised and seven Nigerians were killed, 29 others wounded and some were kidnapped and we are yet to establish the exact number.
“So we went to the scene this morning, inspected the entire area and gave out instructions on what is to be done and we have come to brief the President on this development.”The CDS said security agencies will build on the lessons they have learnt from the latest incident while assuring Nigerians that the military and other security agencies will not rest on their oars until everywhere is secured.
According to him: “The challenge of insecurity is a constant one and so the defence and security agencies need to be on their toes 24/7. This is unfortunate and we believe that the lessons out of this are what we need to build upon going forward.“I can perhaps use this opportunity and reassure the nation that based on the President’s directive, we will take every necessary action, not just to apprehend those behind this dastardly act are not just apprehended but for them to also face justice.
“Going forward, certainly there will be greater security for the nation and I will like to urge everybody to go about their normal duties”.Apart from the CDS, others who took turns to brief the President were the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Faruk Yahaya; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao; Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, as well as the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Samuel Adebayo and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS),Yusuf Magaji Bichi.