*Mourning’s now an everyday ordeal – CAN
*Life near worthless under APC, Buhari, says PDP
*We must treat economic saboteurs with an iron hand — Senator Buhari
By Clifford Ndujihe, Henry Umoru & Ibrahim Hassan, ABUJA
Governors of the 36 states of the federation yesterday condemned the terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train service, saying the attack and other acts of violence in the country questioned their capacity to govern.
The governors’ reaction came as the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, lamented that with the attack which left eight passengers dead and 41 others injured, mourning had now become a daily ritual in the country.
This is even as Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, described the attack and general insecurity in the country as rendering lives worthless under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It will be recalled that the terrorists blew the Abuja-Kaduna rail track with explosives on Monday night, forcing the train to derail.
Reacting to the incident, the governors, operating under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, said the attack was one too many.
‘Collective capacity to govern under question’
Chairman of the NGF and governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, lamented that the spate of attacks questioned the ability of governors to govern their states.
Fayemi, who condoled with families of victims, assured Nigerians that the country would surmount the problem of insecurity in the country.
He said: “First, as leaders, we owe the victims and their relations an apology as these unwarranted acts of violence are becoming too regular and they basically question our collective capacity to govern.
“God will grant those that lost their lives eternal peace and a place in the deepest recesses of heaven. We wish those that were injured speedy recovery to resume their lives and put their heartless aggressors to shame.
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“If the intention of these murderers is to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians, they will not succeed and when eventually total peace returns to the country, they will surely either be lifeless or excluded. I can assure you that this is an ugly phase in our national experience. It will certainly pass.”
He commended the security forces for their “bravery” in curtailing the attack and also expressed the NGF’s support and commitment to enhancing their operational strength.
“While expressing our sincere condolences to Nigerians, particularly the government and good people of Kaduna State, we want to salute the bravery of our security forces in curtailing the magnitude of havoc this attack was intended to visit on innocent travellers. Our prayers are with you.
“We would continue to drum our support for the professional work you do and provide assistance in enhancing your operational strength and combat readiness. We recognize the enormous risk you take every day.
“The cowards behind this will certainly not take over our country. Their violent demeanour will not result in anything positive instead it will confine them to an uncomfortable life in the jungle until the long arm of the law catches up with them,” Fayemi said.
He called on the authorities to immediately install all necessary safeguards to forestall future attacks on the country’s rail tracks, roads, ports, and borders, even while asking the security agencies to improve on intelligence gathering.
“We need not remind those concerned that these constitute a major backbone to our national assets,” it said.
“We need to improve on security intelligence and ability to act on intelligence gathered. In general, we need to give comfort to all our citizens, residents, and investors that the security of lives and property can be taken for granted, and that there is a government that is clearly in charge of what needs to be done.”
Mourning now everyday ordeal — CAN
Reacting in a similar manner, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna State chapter, decried the train attack which claimed lives.
Chairman of CAN in the state, Rev John Joseph Hayab, said in a statement: “Sadly, mourning is now an everyday ordeal in Kaduna, even though we have a sitting government with huge security votes disbursed monthly.
“Besides, the train attack further amplifies the vulnerability Kaduna people and everyone who does business in the state face due to the rise in banditry and terrorism.”
“CAN and all well-meaning folks have cried that Kaduna residents and visitors across ethnic and religious divides live in fear everywhere and all the time, as bandits have demonstrated to be more audacious and stronger than the government of the day.
“Though banditry is a heinous crime, the bandits appear to have evolved an extended network for intelligence gathering and planning on how to fulfil their mission of terrorising innocent citizens. On the contrary, the resilience of the government and her intelligence gathering happens to be more about settling scores with perceived foes.
“Accordingly, CAN call on the Federal Government to deploy everything at its disposal to crush the bandits who have had a field day in Kaduna and elsewhere in Nigeria, bringing the grief of the kidnapped or killed to a complete stop.
“We appeal to the security agencies to employ innovative, professional strategies to deal with the situation and repudiate any political interference in security matters.
“A nation where mourning has become an everyday ordeal cannot be productive because a heart that mourns becomes fragile, unable to think, plan or organise well.
“CAN also calls on all Christians and people of goodwill in Kaduna State to continue to pray and do the needful for peace to reign. Meanwhile, our hearts and prayers are with the bereaved families as we pray for God’s comfort. And to those who sustained injuries, we pray for a quick recovery.”
Life now worthless under Buhari — PDP
In its reaction, the PDP said life has become worthless under President Buhari’s government in Nigeria, following the spate of killings by terrorists, bandits and kidnappers.
In a statement by its spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, PDP said the successful ambush of the train on the Abuja-Kaduna service by terrorists who killed many Nigerians, abducted scores of others in an operation that lasted for over an hour, again confirmed its stand that the security command and control coordination structure under President Buhari had collapsed.
“More alarming is the fact that this particular attack took place within two days of the deadly terrorist attack on Kaduna International Airport on Saturday, March 26, 2022, in the same Kaduna State, controlled by an APC government.
“The PDP insists that the complicity of silence by the Buhari administration on the airport attack emboldened the terrorists to assault the train; a development which also validates PDP’s position that the APC administration has conceded sovereignty over parts of our country to terrorists.
“The continued silence and obvious helplessness of the Buhari Presidency on these deadly attacks on our nation’s key transportation sectors raises apprehensions of possible complicity at the very top level of the APC administration.
“It is callous and unfortunate that the APC government, in its usual insensitive nature, attempted to suppress information by keeping mute over 24 hours after this horrendous attack which claimed the lives of promising Nigerians among whom was a young medical doctor, Dr Chinelo Megafu Nwando, who was fatally shot in the ill-fated train travel.
“Nigerians can recall the confession by a former APC leader that these assailants are terrorists brought from neighbouring countries by the APC as ‘political mercenaries’ to rig the 2019 general elections.
“In 2021, over 10,366 Nigerians were killed by terrorists with over 2,900 abductions in countless terrorism-related attacks in which no fewer than 964 security agents were killed, as revealed by SB Morgen, SBM, Intelligence Report published on January 3, 2022.
“Those killed in 2021 represent a scary 47% increase in the 7,063 massacred by terrorists in 2020.
“More alarming is that the killing spree has continued in 2022 unabated. More than 536 Nigerians have been killed by terrorists since the beginning of this year. In the first three weeks of January 2022, about 486 Nigerians were killed by terrorists.
“Again, only last week, 50 innocent Nigerians were reportedly hacked to death by terrorists in the same Kaduna State! This is besides the hundreds of Nigerians, including students, who were abducted by terrorists with many of them still languishing in their abductors’ den,” PDP stated.
According to the opposition party, the question to ask is: “How many more Nigerians can our nation afford to lose because of the recklessness and arrogance in failure of the APC?
“Nigeria bleeds, families are hurting, parents mourn and agonize, yet the APC government is on vacation.”
We must treat economic saboteurs with an iron hand – Senator Buhari
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Marine and Land Transportation, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari (APC, Oyo North), has lamented the recurring attacks on rail tracks and trains in Kaduna and urged the Federal Government to treat the attackers as economic saboteurs.
Senator Buhari, whose Senate committee oversights the railway, regretted that he was mocked recently when he moved a motion that criminals removing rail tracks should be shot.
Worried that rail, which is regarded as the safest means of transportation is now becoming deadly, Senator Buhari, who is aspiring to govern Oyo State in 2023 on the platform of the APC, said: “The situation we find ourselves is very unfortunate. The incident of three days ago was hellish. If someone had predicted that people could think of removing rail tracks, I would not have believed it.
“Last September, I moved a motion that anybody caught removing rail tracks or attacking trains is an economic saboteur, and should be shot. People criticised me that this is a democracy, I should not talk like that.
“With this incident, the government should get a satellite, locate where these people are, arrest them and deal with them.”