The Edo Commissioner of Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, on Sunday confirmed that 31 intending passengers were kidnapped at the Igueben train station in Edo on Saturday.
The passengers were said to be waiting for a 4:00 p.m. train from Igueben to Warri when the kidnappers struck, shooting sporadically, abducting passengers and leaving many injured.
Mr Nehikhare told journalists in Benin that one abducted passenger escaped from the kidnappers while the police had arrested one of the suspects.
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Describing the incident as the most difficult in the state, the commissioner said the kidnappers, who came with cars, took victims to the bush on foot.
“The police, in collaboration with the vigilante and hunters, started combing the bush almost immediately.
“One suspect has been arrested, and he is helping the police in their investigation.
“The deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, visited the scene of the crime this morning to have an on-the-spot assessment of what has happened,” Mr Nehikhare said.
The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) earlier announced the shutdown of operations at the station.
Meanwhile, Mr Nehikhare also disclosed that the state government was up-to-date with the pension payment to retired workers and was currently expending one-third of its personnel cost on pension payments.
“We make available N100 million monthly to pay gratuity to those retirees with serious medical challenges. We paid over N1 billion last year, and we have also budgeted another N1 billion for 2023.
“We are constrained to believe that the protests in the past over pensions were politically instigated,” he said.