Survivors of Monday’s attack on Abuja- Kaduna train have recounted their ordeals on their hospital beds.
On Monday, terrorists attacked a Kaduna bound train from Abuja said to be carrying over 800 passengers on board.
The attack was said to have occurred at about 8pm on Monday when the terrorists detonated the rail track.
Several people were believed to have been killed while many others were reported to have been abducted by the terrorists during the attack between Kateri and Rijana communities in Kaduna state.
Although there has been no official confirmation on the casualty figure, sources said about 10 people may have been killed. The number of those injured could not be ascertained, however, majority of them are said to be receiving treatment at the 44, Nigerian Army Referral Hospital, Kaduna and St. Gerald Catholic Hospital, Kakuri, Kaduna.
It was gathered that among those killed, is one Dr. Chinelo of St. Gerald Hospital whose death was confirmed by sources in the hospital.
Also killed is one Alhaji Isa Kofar -Mata said to be a director at the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Kaduna.
A former deputy governor of Zamfara state, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakkala was injured in the attack.
Yusuf Idris, a former spokesman to the ex- deputy governor said Wakkala, was shot in the leg and is currently receiving treatment in a medical facility in Kaduna.
“He is responding to treatment very well. He is answering phone calls in his bed. I spoke to him and several other people spoke to him also. There is no cause for alarm,” Yusuf said.
Three of the the survivors at the St. Gerald Catholic hospital, described their ordeal as horrible.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Kaduna, one of the survivors, Maimuna Ibrahim, who was shot on the thigh, said it was a horrible experience.
“We saw hell, I prayed and prayed and prayed”, she said. I went to a workshop in Abuja in the morning and I was on may back to Kaduna that same day after the workshop.
“I was shot on the thigh. But the bullet did not touch my bone. The bullet penetrated out of my thigh. Honestly, we suffered seriously, but thank God soldiers came and they really help us”, she said.
According to her, she was unable to walk after she was shot and soldiers had to carry her out of the train to a vehicle by the expressway.
“I was unable to walk, it was the soldiers who carried me on the back to a the vehicle that brought us to the hospital. “They were able to pass over the cliff, carrying us on their backs! Seriously, they tried because it was not easy climbing the cliff,” she said.
She said, “The terrorists came were moving about in the train, but they did not come to where I was seated.
“I was hit by the bullet through the window.
“They entered SP17. As they were shooting, the police security on the train asked us to lie down on the floor of the train so that the bullet will not get at us.
“Unfortunately before I could lie down the bullet hit me. I saw the terrorists from the window. They were many, they were small boys of between the ages of 18 and 20. They appeared like fulani.
They wore turbans. They don’t look like Nigerians. They were shouting Allahakubar.
“They abducted some people, I saw them forcing people out of the train. They were beating them as they were taking them out of the train.
They were shouting Allahuhakubar, Allahuhakubar as the shot sporadically”, she said.
Also speaking on her hospital bed, another survivor, Fatima Shuaibu, a student of College of Education, Gidan Waya, Kaduna state, said her sister was killed in the attack.
She was being treated for dislocation on her right leg.
“My sister, Zainab Awal, was shot on the stormach and she died,” she said amid tears.
Shuaibu said she was seated by the window when she started noticing flashes of touch lights.
She said initially, she thought it was the villagers around the area, but when she suddenly heard a loud explosion and the train went off track, she knew there was trouble as her heart started palpitating.
She said, “I was seated by the window in the train. Suddenly I started seeing flashes of touch light, this was around 8pm.
“Then there was a loud bang as if something exploded.
Then the train went off track as if was falling down. We started shouting and praying.
“As soon as the train stopped, we started hearing gunshots.
“The security personnel on the train announced that everybody should lie down on the floor of the train.
“They attacked the VIP couch, they abducted some people and took them to the bush, they shot other people.
“They operated for about two hours or so before soldiers and Airforce arrived and they exchanged gunshots.
“The terrorists came with five sharon buses and motorcycles. Those who were abducted were taken away in the Sharon buses.
“The terrorists were small boys of between 18 to 20 years. I saw them, they dont look like Nigerians. The soldiers rescued us in the train.
“Those of us who were injured were evacuated from the train. They climbed the cliff with us and took us to the express way where vehicles were brought to carry people.
Also speaking from his hospital bed at St. Gerald, Mohammed Isa, who was shot on his right arm, said the whole episode was like a dream.
He said, “I was seated by the window and they shot me on the right arm.
“There was an explosion and the train lost control and went off track.
“All of a sudden they started shooting at the train from afar, then they started coming closer.
“When they got to the train they attempted to force the door open, but they couldn’t. So they shot at the door and it opened.
“They were speaking Hausa
It took quite some time before soldiers came and they exchanged fire with them”.
At the Army, hospital, journalists were prevented from seeing the victims.
Meanwhile the Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir, El-Rufai has visited victims of the attacks in the hospitals.
In a statement issued after visiting the 44 Nigerian Army Referral Hospital and St. Gerald Catholic Hospital on Tuesday,
the state government condemned the terrorist attack on the Kaduna-Abuja train.
The statement expressed sympathy and solidarity with all the passengers, and extends its condolence to the families of the those that died in the attack.
The statement signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman to El-Rufai, said the governor and his deputy Dr. Hadiza Balarabe have visited the injured in hospitals.
“The governor prays for the peaceful repose of the souls of the deceased persons and wishes the injured persons speedy recovery.
Adekeye said “while the evacuation of passengers from the scene of the attack has been completed, efforts are still being made to account for all the passengers, crew and security officers that were on the train”.
The statement said the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has issued a contact number 09088923398 for inquiries and information from family members of the passengers.
The state government appealed to all citizens to uphold law and order, and promote peace and harmony in our communities.
It added that, “The state government continues to liaise with the Federal Government and security agencies to protect our people and defeat the terrorists and other criminals.
“It is imperative to stand together against those who threaten civilised order.”