Will the Abuja-Kaduna Railway Ever Be Safe to Reopen?

November 28, 2022

Just hours to the planned November 26, 2022 resumption of operations on the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor, the Federal Government announced a postponement. It’s not the first time the government has postponed a planned resumption since terrorists attacked the railway corridor in March.

But more than the government’s erratic announcements and postponements, Nigerians remain worried about the safety of the corridor.


What caused this safety concern?

In March 2022, terrorists attacked a train travelling from Abuja to Kaduna and killed eight people. They kidnapped more than 60 passengers and the last set of hostages didn’t regain their freedom until October 2022.





Damage on the Abuja-Kaduna carriage [BBC]

It was the second major attack on the railway corridor after terrorists opened fire on another train in October 2021.

How did the government respond?

Even though all the hostages from the train attack are back home, the terrorists who kidnapped them haven’t been arrested. The only person the government has managed to arrest is a journalist who negotiated a ₦2 billion ransom for the terrorists in exchange for hostages.

In August, the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo, announced the government’s plan to install surveillance equipment around the corridor to prevent future attacks. But three months later, there are reports the equipment have not yet been installed

Is the Abuja-Kaduna train safe?

Even though the government has announced that passengers need to provide their national identification number (NIN) and phone number to buy a ticket, is that enough? 

Naturally, Nigerians are reacting to the planned reopening and they aren’t too pleased with the government’s efforts.


There have been reports of illegal NIN enrollment offices across the country, and terrorists can use them to bypass identification safeguards. The heightened insecurity in Kaduna also doesn’t help, as terrorists killed 645 people in the state in the first half of 2022 alone.

When the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor eventually reopens do you trust the Nigerian government to protect the lives of passengers?



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