By Kazeem Akande & Augusta Uchediunor
Hundreds of Osun-bound passengers, who had massed at the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Iddo Terminal in Lagos for the free train ride were stranded on Thursday.
The train ride was provided by Osun Government for those going to Osun for Eid-el-Kabir.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the huge number of passengers who turned out for the ride outstripped the available coaches.
The free train ride is a collaboration between Gov. Rauf Aregbesola-led government and the NRC to convey Osun indigenes in Lagos to Osogbo and other towns along the rail line during festive period.
Some of the stranded passengers, who spoke to NAN correspondent, were pained for not making the trip, but they commended the governor’s gesture.
They pleaded with the government to provide more coaches or extend the days allotted for the exercise to enable intending travellers to enjoy the free ride.
Mr Saliu Ademola, an artisan, told NAN:“I was shocked when I got to the terminal to see the crowd.
“The NRC should increase the number of coaches to enable the passengers to enjoy the train services.”
A disappointed Mrs Taibat Lawal, said in spite of her early arrival at the terminal in the morning, she was not lucky to be on board.
Contacted, Mr Jerry Oche, the Lagos District Manager, lauded the free train ride provided by Osun and called for more coaches so that more people could benefit.
He advised stranded passengers to join the Kano-bound train tomorrow en route to Osogbo.
NAN also reports that the normal fare per passenger for Lagos-Osogbo trip by train is N1,500. (NAN)