NRC arrests train riders blocking the driver's view

Train passengers on a locomotive

Some train passengers were on Tuesday arrested at Ikeja Train Station by armed security operatives for hanging on the locomotive of an Ogun/Lagos-bound train.

The arrest followed a report on Monday that the passengers who were hanging on the overcrowded locomotive cause poor visibility for the driver.

NAN had reported that the train was delayed beyond its scheduled departure time at Agbado Station following a complaint by the driver of poor visibility due to the overcrowding.

Following the report, the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) stationed some armed security personnel at its station at Ikeja where the arrests were carried out.

The arrests were, however, focused on the locomotive as others passengers hanging on the coaches, the roof and the tail of the train were unmolested.

Among those arrested was an elderly man who claimed that he was trying to avoid the excessive heat in the overcrowded coaches.

One of the security personnel told NAN that the order for the arrest was from “above’’.

An official of the NRC at Ikeja Station who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that those arrested would as usual be charged to court, but did not say how many of them were arrested and when they would appear in court.

He added that any of the erring passengers found guilty would face three months imprisonment or N25,000 fine or both.

The official, however, denounced NAN reports that overcrowding on the train was due to reduction in the number of coaches from 13 to 11.

According to him, the overcrowding was due to the lingering fuel scarcity across the country.

“More people are coming to join the train since Monday because of reduction in the number of commercial vehicles on the roads due to fuel scarcity.

“Also, the few commercial buses on the roads had increased their fares but we have not and this makes our coaches to be jam-packed with passengers,’’ the official said.

Many of the passengers who spoke to NAN pleaded to the management of the corporation to improve on its services to its ever increasing passengers. (NAN)