The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has shut down the Ekehen train Station in Edo State till further notice.
The organisation said the decision became necessary following rising security challenges.
Armed persons had attacked a train station in the state, and kidnapped many passengers.
The incident came barely one year after the March 28, 2022 attack by bandits on the Abuja-Kaduna train, resulting in the death of about 14 passengers while 65 others were abducted.
A public announcement by the NRC posted on the passengers’ WhatsApp Group said the closure was “till further notice.”
The statement reads: “This is to inform our general public and most especially our esteemed passengers, that Ekehen Station has been temporarily closed due to security issues, till further notice.”
Another notice reads, “Due to the incident at Ekehen station on Saturday, WITS 01/ 02 will no longer stop at Ekehen Station. Please advise our customers.”
The spokesperson of the Edo Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the gunmen were armed with AK-47 rifles but said the exact number of people kidnapped could not be ascertained.
Nwabuzor described the gunmen as ‘herdsmen’, loose bands of armed persons who used to rear cattle but have become full-fledged criminals, killing and kidnapping people at will across the country.
“This is to inform the gentlemen of the press that today, 7th of January, 2023 at about 1600hrs, unspecified number of herdsmen armed with AK 47 riffles attacked the train station at Igueben, Edo State and kidnapped unspecified number of passengers who were waiting to board the train to Warri.
“The kidnappers who shot sporadically into the air before kidnapping some passengers left some persons with bullet wounds. The Area Commander Irrua, DPO Igueben Division, and men have visited the scene of crime with members of the Edo State Security Network, local vigilantes, and hunters with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers.
“Bush combing operations have commenced in order to rescue the victims and arrest the fleeing kidnappers. Further developments will be communicated,” the spokesperson said.