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Abuja-Kaduna Rail: Minister Says New Security Features Guarantee Passengers’ Safety

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The Minister Of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has revealed that the security features on the Abuja-Kaduna train will guarantee maximum safety of passengers.

The Minister disclosed this while riding on the train to inspect the security features and other measures put in place to protect passengers and also forestall subsequent attacks that may occur in the course of plying the Abuja-Kaduna corridor after resumption.
The Minister was accompanied by the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Hussein Adamu, Honourable Minster of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation, Alh. Ibrahim Musa, Directors of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria.

Sambo said the train service on the corridor is 90% ready and that the remaining 10% would be achieved in the next couple of days for a full resumption of rail services.
He said the remaining days would be utilized to achieve the balance of 10% and be certain that the guarantee he is giving Nigerians to use the train is 100 per cent.

“I also want to make sure that the Nigerian public is sufficiently enlightened about the new procedure for buying tickets.
“The assurance I can give Nigerians is that I am also using this train. My counterpart, my friend here, the Honourable Minister of Water Resources has a home in Kaduna. In fact from next week, his family would start using this train.

“I am giving Nigerians the full assurance that a human being can give that this train is safe for them to use. There is absolutely nothing to fear. We have learned from what has happened and life is all about learning lessons and adopting measures to deal with the lessons.
“As a responsible government, we have seen those lessons. We have devised appropriate measures to counter them and like I always told the public, I was not going to allow this train to resume until everybody who was in captivity was released.

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“To the glory of God, we have achieved that. We will also be taking measures that will ensure that by the grace of God such an incident never happens again in Nigeria.
“There are certain concrete measures that are visible for you to see and know that there are changes, for example, the ticketing and security status. Now you don’t buy a ticket unless you have a valid phone number and the National Identity Number (NIN).

“If you are a foreigner, you also have a means of identification you can use which is produced by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). Having secured your tickets, you will not gain access to the lounge until the barcode machine reads the barcode on your receipt.

“Your image, name, necessary details and your complete profile will show on the screen. Only then will the bar be automatically lifted for you to go into the lounge.
“This is unprecedented. This is what we call Customer profiling. Ask any security expert in the world and they will tell you that when you’re dealing with passengers, the first thing in terms of security readiness is the profiling of your passengers.
“You need to know who is coming on board. That is a visible change. Another visible change people may notice will be an increase in numbers of security personnel and I’ll tell you without mincing words, some of these security personnel may not even be wearing uniforms to guarantee the safety of the travelling public.

“There are other sensitive equipment that we have deployed, which I will not reveal. The other thing I can tell you is that on every journey, the train is monitored every second on a screen and the train driver can see up to a certain distance if there’s any threat on the track.

“That will enable him apply the brakes long before getting to the perceived threat. I think that gives you comfort and that is why I’m talking to you very confidently,” he said.

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He added that the introduction of the NIN would also help check cases of racketeering as a person can only purchase a ticket per trip with his NIN.

The Minister said there will be slight changes in the mode of operation as the number of trips will be reduced because a certain number of Nigerians may not be comfortable coming back to the train for obvious reasons.
He said the number of trips will eventually pick up when people are more comfortable riding on the train and that there wouldn’t be night trips for now.

“I mean, we are human beings, we are bound to feel a little bit uncomfortable until we can see that every security measure has been taken care of. It is a natural way of reacting so we will reduce the number of trips.

“As the travelling population picks up, we will increase the number of trips but we will certainly not travel at night for now,” he said.
Sambo said passengers should however expect some increase in fares which may not be immediate as a panel consultation with the management of the Nigeria Railway Cooperation and management of the ministry is ongoing.

He said the rise in the cost of maintenance is one of the reasons for the possible increase in the train fare which he said had affected aeroplane fares too.

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Sambo added that the management would consider the masses while making changes in the fare, being a sensitive administration.

“I can assure you that the poor masses will be taken care of and we will be considered in raising the fare. We are a very sensitive government. We are pro-people. You know that there is no government that has been as pro-people as this government.

The Minister of Water Resources, Eng. Suleiman Adamu who was also on the train said he was invited by the Minister of Transportation to join him on the inspection as a Kaduna resident and a colleague.
“This train service means a lot to me as well. But most importantly, as colleagues in government, the Minister invited me so that I could also see and give him our opinion about what I have observed.

“I will say without any fear of contradiction that I am very impressed with what I have seen and I am convinced that as much as humanly possible, the short to medium term may just have been taken to secure this trade to restore the service.

“However we want to assure Nigerians that the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) is back in business and myself and my family will continue to patronize this train as we used to “We call on all Nigerians to have faith in the arrangements been put in place and come back to patronize the train service. A lot has been put in place. Some, as the Minister has said are obvious while some are not for public consumption.

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“So it’s us now to go back to normalcy. If we don’t go back to normalcy, we are giving the terrorists the ammunition they want.
“If you recall, after the 911 terrorist attack in the United States, America was calling on people to go back to their normal lives. We must do that because the whole idea is to terrorize us. So we need to go back to our lives.

“We need to have faith in the system that has been put in place to secure lives and property and just move on and also for people to cooperate with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)” he said.
Adamu added that security is everyone’s responsibility and should not be left alone for the government or security agencies.

“People also should take security as their own business. If you usually watch NTA, there is a jingle that says “If you see something, say something,” and that means all of us should be conscious of our surroundings.

“We see anything, like things not adding up well, we should alert the security agencies and see that as part of our own citizen contribution, you know, as citizens our contribution is to make the country safe which is very important.

“Beyond that, I think people should come back to this train service. It is now good and open for business and very comfortable. We’ve been on this train now for hours and all is well and I am confident that all will continue to be well,” he said.

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FEATURED

Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States

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The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.

The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.

Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”

“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.

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“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.

“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”

Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”

 

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CRIME

Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life

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Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.

Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”

Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.

The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.

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While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.

According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.

The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.

“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.

“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”

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Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.

Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.

The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.

Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).

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CRIME

Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks

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The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.

The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.

Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.

CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.

Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.

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DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.

She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.

Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.

Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.

Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.

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ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.

CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.

CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.

The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.

CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.

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  • Source: Independent

 

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