Amid growing concerns, the Department of State Services (DSS) has issued a sobering security alert to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), revealing a sinister plot by bandits to target the Abuja-Kaduna train route. This unsettling revelation comes after a prior terrorist attack in 2022 prompted the temporary suspension of train services on this crucial corridor.
DSS Sounds Alarm on Bandit Threat
In a memo stamped with urgency and signed by the Director of DSS, FCT Command, R.N. Adepemu, the security agency warned the Nigeria Railway Corporation of an imminent danger posed by a coalition of banditry syndicates. The intention, as per the memo titled ‘Security Alert: Impending Threat By A Coalition Of Banditry Syndicate To Attack Abuja-Kaduna Train Service Along AKTS Corridor’, is to execute attacks along the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) with the goal of kidnapping passengers for ransom. The DSS underscored the gravity of the situation and urged heightened vigilance.
Recognizing the gravity of the threat, the DSS proposed a comprehensive set of countermeasures to bolster security along the vulnerable route. The agency advised the implementation of measures such as air surveillance patrols, monitoring of the rail track, increased military and police checkpoints, and security raids in specific areas. The DSS also proposed enhancing the Nigeria Police Mobile Force (NPMF) with walkie-talkies to provide escort services for the train. Moreover, it called for the deployment of additional Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel with walkie-talkies to augment security details. The document stressed that the contents of the communication were classified, warning against unauthorized disclosure.
Risk to Commuters and Stakeholders
While the DSS revealed that the impending threat had yet to reach the public domain, the implications for both the safety of commuters and the broader stakeholder community are substantial. The alert also pointed out the backdrop of previous fatal attacks along the same route, which resulted in casualties, abductions, and protracted periods of captivity for some victims. The intelligence, while unsettling, underscores the urgency of discreetly managing the information provided to prevent panic and ensure swift, coordinated responses to any potential attacks.
As the specter of a bandit threat looms over the Abuja-Kaduna train service, the Nigeria Railway Corporation and relevant security agencies are now tasked with bolstering their defenses and implementing the recommended measures to avert a potential crisis and ensure the safety of passengers and stakeholders alike.