A security and intelligence expert, Dr. Kabiru Adamu, has said that the entire railway system in the country is vulnerable to attacks.
Adamu said this during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme, monitored by our correspondent on Monday morning.
The PUNCH reported on Sunday that scores of passengers waiting to board a train from the Igueben station in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State to Warri in Delta State were kidnapped by suspected herdsmen on Saturday evening.
Adamu however lamented the absence of security operatives at the train station as well as security gadgets like CCTVs that could help in investigation an early detection of what transpired.
He said, “Accountability is a major challenge. We have a minister of information who promised us that the security level on the railway is adequate and is confident that that is why he is resuming the rail services when the Abuja-Kaduna rail service was resumed and I’m sure he felt that that applied to all the railway infrastructure in the country.
“But unfortunately this incident has shown clearly and has confirmed what we said when he (the minister) made that statement.
“Earlier on I explained what a good security posture in any location should be, and I can tell you with all sense of responsibility that the entire railway infrastructure unfortunately remains vulnerable.”
Adamu further said preventive measures like CCTVs should be installed in all railway stations and states across the country, adding that the attacked station didn’t have any CCTV that would have helped to the case of an attack.
He also added that early warning system through traditional rulers, communities, market councils and others should be effectively utilised to forestall or even prevent further attacks, as information or intelligence could be shared early to prevent attacks of any kind.
The Edo train attack is coming 10 months after bandits attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train service, killing 14 passengers and abducting 65 others. They were released after spending months in captivity and paying ransoms.
The Edo Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the incident in a statement, claiming that the abductors, armed with AK 47, invaded the train station and shot sporadically into the air before abducting scores of intending travellers into the bush.
He however said that security agencies were combing the bushes for the abducted passengers.
The PUNCH, also reported that the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had dispatched police special squads, including the Intelligence Response Team and Anti-Terrorism Squad to Edo State to rescue the victims to complement the efforts of the police in the state.
Two abducted victims have been rescued while a suspect in connection with the attack had been taken into custody, with 31 other passengers still missing.