The Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, has announced the indefinite shutdown of Ekehen Station in Edo State.
The announcement came on the heels of the attack and abduction of some passengers on Saturday.
In a message shared on the passengers’ WhatApp Group, the Corporation said, “Public Announcement: This is to inform our general public and most especially our esteemed passengers, that Ekehen Station has been temporarily closed due to security issues, till further notice.”
“Another notice reads, “Due to the incident at Ekehen station on Saturday, WITS 01/ 02 will no longer stop at Ekehen Station. Please advise our customers.”
The spokesperson of the police in the state, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the gunmen were armed with AK-47 rifles. He said the exact number of people kidnapped could not be ascertained.
Mr Nwabuzor described the gunmen as ‘herdsmen’, loose bands of armed persons who used to rear cattle but have become full-fledged criminals, killing and kidnapping people at will across the country.
“This is to inform the gentlemen of the press that today, 7th of January, 2023 at about 1600hrs, unspecified number of herdsmen armed with AK 47 riffles attacked the train station at Igueben, Edo State and kidnapped unspecified number of passengers who were waiting to board the train to Warri.
“The kidnappers who shot sporadically into the air before kidnapping some passengers left some persons with bullet wounds. The Area Commander Irrua, DPO Igueben Division, and men have visited the scene of crime with members of the Edo State Security Network, local vigilantes, and hunters with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers.
NewsWireNGR reports that a few months after terrorists attacked an Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, 2022, kidnapping about 168 passengers and killing eight others, there has been another attack on a train station by gunmen in Edo state.
The development was, however, confirmed by the Edo Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, on Sunday.