The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has called for the establishment of military bases within Katari and Rijana as a way of further safeguarding the railway passengers, tracks and equipments against unsuspecting terrorists.
Elrufai made the affirmative call when the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi paid a visit to victims of Abuja-Kaduna train attack which occured on Monday night innocent Army Refrence Hospital Kaduna on Wednesday to ascertain the level of progress in their health.
According to Elrufai, the authorities are aware of the plans of the terror group as enough intelligence is available for actions to be taken against the terrorists group.
” We have enough intelligence for us to take action. The Airforce undertakes enough ISR, the SSS has informants all over the place. We know what they are planning. We get the reports. The problem is the action agencies to take action.
” Don’t wait until they attack before they respond. The Army should go after their enclave to wipe them. Let the Airforce bomb them.
” We are in a state of war, this place should be declared a war zone. The Army, the Airforce, the Police should go in there and kill them. Will there be innocent Casualties? Yes! In every war situation, there are casualties.”
The Governor also said the reason why orompt actions wasn’t taken against the terrorist group was because of their initial categorisation as bandits, but with recent developments, they have been declared as terrorists and can be legally killed without any consequences to international human rights organisations.
“Before they were categorised as bandits and if you bomb them, you will have issues with human rights organisations and international criminal courts and so on. But now that have been declared terrorist by the courts, they can be legally killed without any consequences to international human rights organisations.
“We know where their camps are, we know where they are, the SSS have their phone numbers, they listen to them, and they give me the report. We know what they are planning.
“We shouldn’t be waiting for them to attack, why can’t we go after them. I’m angry, frustrated and feel totally helpless.We have written to the Nigerian Railways Corporation Twice to stop the evening service. The last train from Kaduna to Abuja should leave by 4pm so it will get to Abuja in daylight.
“If anything is to happen, the response time will be quick, maybe in 30 minutes response time. When something happens, the response time will be faster in the day time.
” We were lucky the military response was just within an hour because it was dead in the night,” said Elrufai.
Earlier speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi appreciated the Military hospital and its CMD for taking charge of the victims of the attack without charging a dime on any patient.
Amaechi said, ” Not one naira, and they have given the maximum medical care you can give to any patient. They treated the patients with bomb wounds and the lady with gun wounds in her heart, they are bringing in specialist, a cardiologist, to attend to her.
” They have just seven patients left, the rest have been discharged. The Federal government is grateful to the military for the assistance.
“We will liaise with the hospital to see how much money we can contribute to the victim’s medical bills. Obviously the drugs are not manufactured here. The experts they are bringing from the outside don’t work for the Nigerian Army, they will have to pay them.
” I will speak with the president. He is already giving directives. I’m sure by the time we finish the repair of the rail tracks, we would have gotten approval for the security equipment and we would possibly have installed.
“But even if we didn’t install yet, we have spoken with the management of the Nigerian Airforce to escort the trains. They were previously escorting the trains but recently, the weather has been very bad and visibility dropped to below 500 meters so they couldn’t fly. So they’ve not being flying this us why this was successful.
“They have resumed flying and will escorts the train we resume.
“The president has approved that we should employ people who will waking on the rail tracks for the next six to seven months until we install the equipment. We intend to employ villagers on the corridor. So that they can report any suspicious movements to us and the security.
“The hospital management hasn’t made specific requests from us but we wouldn’t wait for them to request. If the ministry can afford to assist, the ministry should assist.”
The Minister further said repair works will commence immediately and the military has promised adequate security while work is ongoing.
He said: ” It is less than 2 kilometers of rail tracks. We will complete the work as soon as possible. If the ministry of finance releases the funds, then we can know the number of those to employ. But we will involve the DSS in screening the people we will employ. We are still contact tracking to establish those missing.”
Reaponding, Chief Medical Director, CMD Col. Stephen Onochukwu, 44 Nigerian Army Refrence Hospital, Kaduna, affirmed that the situation of victims received from the incidents are all stable.
“We had 25 of them that where admitted. We discharged some of them that are stable but we are still following them up. Currently we have seven of them still left in the hospital. We deployed our contingency resources to manage the situation no there are no challenges.
“There is none of the cases that is beyond us because we also have collaboration with the teaching hospitals. So far, the expertise we do not have, we borrow the expertise to manage the patients.”
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ROYAL NEWS eCopy March 28, 2022
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