Reps summon minister over Abuja-Kaduna train mishap

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, summoned the Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali, for questioning over the frequent train mishaps witnessed on the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor in recent times.

This was a sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance brought to the floor during plenary by the member representing Makarfi-Kudan Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, Umar Ajilo.

Speaking on the motion titled, “An urgent need to investigate the causes of the recurring derailment of Abuja-Kaduna passengers’ train which has skidded twice in the last two weeks with hundreds of passengers on board,” Ajilo, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party expressed worry over the incidents, stating that across the world, rail transportation remains the safest mode of movement.  

He said, “The House is worried that the rate at which derailments occur along the Abuja-Kaduna rail line has become alarming with the most recent derailment, which occurred on Wednesday, June 5 2024, when a train travelling from Abuja to Kaduna derailed at Asha station, leaving many passengers stranded in the Federal Capital Territory, being the second of such unfortunate occurrences just within the last two weeks.

“The House recalls that on Sunday, May 26, an Abuja-bound train derailed along the Abuja-Kaduna route, leading to the passengers stranded in the Jere area of Kaduna State.

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“This House must stand to the occasion by investigating these repeated incidents to ensure that the repeated rail derailment incidents do not result in a national calamity.”

The Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, who presided over plenary, following the adoption of the motion, mandated the House Committee on Land Transportation to invite the minister and other relevant stakeholders in the railway sector to explain the reasons behind the repeated derailment and the measures taken by them to avert the reoccurrence of the unfortunate incidents.

It also directed the Committee on Land Transportation to investigate the causes of the recurring derailments along the corridor train and report to the House within four weeks.

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