By: Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja—Against the backdrop of reports that armed bandits and kidnappers are planning to attack railway transport system across the country and derail rail operations, the Police High Command has directed the formation of a special unit, known as Railways Police Marshall.
The Railways Marshall, which is to be deployed specifically to provide security for train passengers and on railway routes, would be under the command of a Commissioner of Police.
The Marshalls are to provide 24 hours, seven days a week security service and its undercover agents are to be deployed around all railway stations and environs.
A senior police officer, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the proactive measure was already in place, pointing out that the primary objectives of the Railway Marshal were to provide 24/7 security coverage for all movement of trains in the country all through the week.
He said: “Aside from security coverage, the undercover men have been charged to provide useful information before, during and after each movement of train operating in the country.
“While the Police are doing the needful, the Nigeria Police Railway Command is using the medium to call on members of the public to avail the command of useful information so that prompt action can be taken appropriately.”
Recall that reports have made the rounds that bandits are plotting to derail railway infrastructure nationwide, staring from the Kaduna-Abuja-bound train.
One of the report said: “Bandits operating within Kaduna State and its environs have planned to derail the Kaduna-Abuja bound train and other destinations nationwide soonest.”
Quoting a ‘Police Wireless Message’ signed by Assistant Inspector General of Police, Abuja, it said the attack was with the aim to “sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government.”
The message detailing the planned attack revealed that the bandits planned to “attack commuters, loot therein, dissuade commuters from using the train transport system and revert to the road transport system, especially on highways traversing Kaduna, Kano and Yobe states, including Abuja.”