We boarded the 6:27 train to Kaduna at Abuja. The journey was very typical and uneventful until roughly 25 minutes from Kaduna. We heard a bang and the coach started wobbling. I realized that our coach had derailed, and it started leaning to one side.
Fortunately, the train came safely to a halt and then we started hearing gunfire. We all dropped to the floor. I heard muffled voices with Fulani accents from outside the train. They eventually forced their way into the train screaming in what sounded like Arabic and went to the coach behind ours.
They let out some shots which we later learnt killed a passenger. They left the train with many passengers from that coach. They continued shooting until they left us.
In the meantime, the police escorts rallied together and resisted the onslaught. They continued to exchange gunfire for so long after the attack. We remained on board the train in the dark and in silence until soldiers came and announced their arrival.
They secured the train, removed the injured and some of the dead. We were told by the security details that many coaches had gone off the tracks and so the train couldn’t be able to move further. On getting out I observed that there were steep embarkments on either side of the rail line.
The military helped us all up the steep slope and got us to sit on the ground at the top. A Brigadier-General whose name I didn’t catch addressed us. He said that vehicles were on their way to pick us up. However, we were going to have to walk to where it would be easier for the vehicles to maneuver due to the poor state of the tracks to our point of rescue.
We then walked to the Kaduna-Abuja road where we were immediately loaded onto buses and brought to Kaduna. In my case we were dropped off at Leventis flyover at roughly 1:45 am.
We’re grateful to God for the deliverance from injury, being kidnapped and death.
Our hearts bleed for those that died in this incident. It could have happened to any one of us. Let’s pray for those the dead left behind, and that this dangerous security situation is brought under control.