The abysmal and criminal negligence on the part of the Federal Government of Nigeria and state governments including the Authority in-charge of Abuja to build mobile gates around rail tracks that criss crosses main roads in the States and Abuja resulting in multiple casualties is a classic case of mass murders for which those governments ought to be dragged to courts and awarded humongous financial damages for the families of the victims of train accidents.
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which reacted against the backdrop of the train collusion with a Lagos State Government owned staff bus in which at least two staff members of the Lagos State Government died and several others injured in a collision between a train and a staff bus on the rail track at Ikeja Along, Sogunle area of the state.
HURIWA said whilst we condemned the bus driver for failing to exercise enough wise judgment and await the passage of the train before driving through the rail track, the Rifhts group however condemned the laissez-faire attitudes of government officials to the wellbeing of the citizens by siting such rail track by the roadside without making plans for the election of a gate which must be shut upon the approach of a train and reopened shortly thereafter as is done everywhere around the World.
HURIWA recalled a similar incident in Kubwa Abuja in which a private vehicle was crushed and a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority who was driving through the rail track was killed in the accident which occurred only few weeks back and now this terrible tragedy of immense consequences in Lagos.
HURIWA was learnt that the BRT, which was conveying staff of the state government to work, wanted to cross the rail line when it was trapped by the moving train. The incident happened around past 7am on Thursday. The spokesperson for the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Taofiq Adebayo, confirmed the avoidable accident.
His words: “The accident recorded many casualties as the bus is fully loaded with govt staff going to office this morning,” he said.
HURIWA recalled that whilst confirming the incident too, the spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, said:
“Two bodies of female staff (members) of the State Government, have been recovered and several injured persons have been evacuated.”
“The State Government staff bus was trying to cross the PWD/Sogunle rail crossing while the train coming into Lagos from Abeokuta (Ogun State) trapped the bus on its rail,” he said.
HURIWA is urging families of those affected by the train accidents to sue the Nigerian Railway corporation, the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the State Government and the Federal Capital Development Authority for negligence of duty which occasioned these wholly avoidable mishaps.
The Rights group through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko is hereby asking the Federal government and state governments to wake up and stop committing willful mass murders of the citizens by carelessly refusing to erect a demarcation between rail tracks and the main roads so gates that are easily operated would automatically shuts anytime a train is passing and opened thereafter just as the Rights Group said governments need to also post Rail workers near those passages in case the electronic gates fail to lock up so the men can manually stop vehicles from colliding with trains.