NRC begins clampdown on rooftop riders, arrest 100
100 illegal passengers, popularly known as ‘rooftop riders’ have been arrested by a combined team of the Railway Police, the Lagos State Police Command, the NRC Task Force and Man-O-War personnel.
The operation, according to the management of the NRC, became necessary after several attempts to warn the illegal passengers to no avail.
Some of the persons arrested at the Ikeja Along Bus Stop kept saying that they were not sitting on the train roof, but wanted to alight from the train, before they was dragged by the policeman, who bundled them along with others who were arrested too. They were taken to the Ebute Meta office of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
The NRC District Manager in Lagos, Engr. Jerry Oche, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Lagos.
He said that the miscreants had constituted a nuisance to the corporation’s mass transit shuttle service in Lagos and Ogun States, causing harm and injuries to several innocent passengers.
According to him, the miscreants, last Tuesday, caused mayhem at the Agege station and the development led to reprisal attacks from the people, which subsequently affected the operations of the corporation.
“The hoodlums attacked and destroyed some of our facilities. Agege and Ikeja stations ware seriously damaged and our police station.
“This morning, we decided to embark on a raid and we arrested about 100 hoodlums, riding on the rooftop of moving train at the Iju station. These people enter the trains with matchets, stones, sticks, knives and other harmful objects. These hoodlums sell drugs and do a lot of criminal activities. We can’t fold our hands to allow this to go on,’’ he said.
It will be recalled that a baby, who was at the back of her mother, was last week, stoned in the process and died in one of the attacks that led to the suspension of our services at Agege and Ikeja.
According to him, the death of the baby angered residents of Agege, who staged another round of attacks on the rooftop riders.
He said that the safety and security of passengers is paramount to the corporation and this had made the NRC redesign the windows of the trains.
Oche, who said that the raids would be a continuous process, added that the corporation would increase its police posts and the security personnel, to ensure the safety of all passengers and NRC personnel on the trains.