You probably have seen the video trending on social media about the Lagos-Ibadan train which stopped midway, and staff rolled out drums to refuel. The reaction of Nigerians has been that of condemnation, accusing the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC of carelessness and insensitivity in these days of insecurity. But the management of the NRC has denied that its staff was refuelling the said train.
So, what happened when the train suddenly stopped and passengers had to panic for fear of attack?
The concern of many people was that passengers and their relatives would have been apprehensive that anything could happen to them within the period of the wait. Truly, in these days of attacks and killings, the affected passengers could have been susceptible to attack from bandits or kidnappers.
The corporation in a statement in response to the trending video of the broken down train explained that it was the fuel gauge that had an issue, which was fixed within an hour. It said that the passengers were not stranded as alleged. The NRC said they were not stranded, by which the corporation meant that they were at least taken to their destination. But the management did not address the fact that the passengers were exposed to danger where the incident happened.
An earlier report showed a video which trended on the social media on Thursday of the NRC officials refuelling the lagos-Ibadan bound train. NRC said the video did not represent what actually happened.
According to the spokesman of NRC, Yakub Mahmud who apologised over the interruption to its operation, the staff did not immediately know what the problem was. They assumed that it was fuel shortage. Well, it was a failure as admitted by the NRC.
Below is Mahmud’s statement:
“We wish to first and foremost tender our unreserved apology for the interruption in our operations which led to the extension of our journey-time schedule of the said train.
“We also appreciate the feedback we frequently receive from our esteemed passengers as well as constructive comments from the public domain which are all geared towards efficient service delivery to our esteemed passengers.
“However, the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) states here categorically that the locomotive failure was as a result of technical fault on the fueling system, but, is not as a result of insufficient fuel as the general public were made to believe.
“There is more than sufficient fuel for the convenient and timely journey from Ibadan to Lagos in the same locomotive fuel tank, but in order to be proactive our staff immediately source fuel under the suspicion it was fuel shortage which was later discovered to be technical fault on the fueling system, not fuel insufficiency.
“Meanwhile, we are equally appealing to the general public, especially our esteemed passengers and our numerous admirers of modern Railway project to continue having good fate in our operations as that is the surest means that will motivate us to serve you much better.
“Once again, kindly accept our unreserved apology for the inconveniences caused by that sudden and unforeseen Ibadan to Lagos Standard Gauge passenger train failure on Thursday 10th March, 2022.”