Kaduna train attack: Scale up your efforts, Jonathan tasks security forces

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan

Jesusegun Alagbe

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday tasked Nigeria’s security and intelligence agencies to scale up efforts at containing the activities of bandits and terrorists in the country.

Jonathan’s call was in response to bandits’ attack on a train plying the Kaduna-Abuja route on Monday, in which at least eight people were killed and 26 injured, and an unknown number still missing.

The former president commiserated with the attack’s victims and urged Nigerians to be “vigilant, optimistic, and not to succumb to pessimism and fear.”

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“I commiserate with the victims of Monday’s Abuja-Kaduna train attack, the families of the deceased and other Nigerians who have been affected, in one way or the other, by recent events in our country, driven by the violent activities of bandits and terrorists,” Jonathan, who was succeeded by President Muhammadu Buhari, tweeted.

“My thoughts are with them even as I pray that all those abducted will be rescued and reunited with their families, soon. I urge Nigerians to be vigilant, optimistic, and not to succumb to pessimism and fear.”

Jonathan further said: “I call on the security and intelligence services to scale up their efforts and ensure that perpetrators of these dastardly crimes are served with justice, and restore normalcy to our land.”

The Nigerian Railway Corporation, which has indefinitely suspended its Kaduna-Abuja train operations, said that more than 360 passengers were on board when the attack occurred on Monday, contrary to reports that the passengers were over 900.

President Buhari on Tuesday denounced the assault on the train as a “callous attack” and said that “no one should be allowed to hold the country to ransom.” However, Nigerians have continued to hammer him for his inability to stem the surge of violence across the country, particularly in the north.

Bandits have in the past years carried out vicious attacks on local communities, killing scores of people, and kidnapping as many as they can for ransoms.