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Transport Minister provides reason for train derailment in Delta state 

The Minister of Transport, Sen. Said Alkali has stated that the train derailment that occurred in Delta state last week was due to the efforts of deviants who vandalised the rail line.  

He disclosed this in a statement assuring Nigerians that the federal government is addressing such issues and others.  

He said, “A significant number of such incidents were the direct result of incidents of vandalism and criminality along the rail tracks by deviants who do not wish our country well.” 

“I wish to also direct that all stakeholders in safe and secure operations in the railway industry should immediately put their best foot forward for continuous service to our people and our dear motherland.” 

Speaking about the July 4 rail derailment between Itakpe in Kogi and Ujevwu in Delta, the Minister said he has ordered an investigation into the incident and is ensuring the safety and welfare of all passengers on board. 

He stated, “My attention has been drawn to the reports of derailment of some coaches of a scheduled train service operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) between Itakpe, Kogi State and Warri in Delta State, which happened on July 4. 

“Upon receipt of news of this unfortunate incident and enquiries made, my observation is that the unfortunate incident did not result in any fatalities.” 

“The incident occurred at Ujewhu near Abraka in Delta State at about 7.15 pm on Thursday night. I have directed the NRC, as the operator, to immediately ensure the safety and welfare of all passengers on board the train.” 

Alkali assured that the NRC would remove the distressed coaches from the tracks to resume services as soon as possible and provide a comprehensive report of the incident for his review. 

He noted that the NRC had already begun taking steps in this direction, and all indications suggest that normalcy is gradually being restored. 

The minister expressed sympathy for all passengers on board at the time of the incident and assured the public, especially train service users, of their safety and welfare. 

Backstory 

  • Last Thursday, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) announced a suspension of activities along the Itakpe-Ujevwu rail line following the derailment of the last train for the day around 7 pm.  
  • Following the resuscitation of rail service by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, there have been serious incidences bothering security along the rail corridor and vandalism of rail tracks by vandals.  
  • In 2022, bandits attacked a train along the Abuja-Kaduna corridor leading to the death of some passengers and abduction of others.  

Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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