January 8, 2023
The Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, has closed down Ekehen Station in Edo State indefinitely after gunmen attacked the train station.
The station is in the Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State, South-South Nigeria.
This was announced in a public announcement by the NRC which was posted on the passengers’ WhatsApp Group and obtained by The PUNCH. It stated that the decision became necessary following rising security challenges.
The statement reads, “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.”
SaharaReporters had reported that several passengers were abducted from the train station on Saturday.
It was learnt that the gunmen attacked the victims while they were waiting to board a train to Warri in Delta State.
The incident occurred about 10 months after bandits attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, 2022, killing 14 passengers and kidnapping 65 others.
The last set of the kidnapped passengers was released in October 2022.
The police in Edo State earlier confirmed that several passengers were abducted from the train station.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Chidi Nwabuzor, in a statement said it was unclear if anyone was killed in the incident but that some travellers sustained gunshot wounds.
He said the abductors, armed with AK 47s, invaded the train station on Saturday evening and shot sporadically into the air before abducting scores of intending travellers.
He said, “This is to inform the gentlemen of the press that today, 7th of January, 2023 at about 1600hrs, men armed with AK 47 rifles attacked the train station at Igueben, Edo State and kidnapped an 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.”
“Bush combing operations have commenced in order to rescue the victims and arrest the fleeing kidnappers. Further developments will be communicated,” he added.