The was a mild drama inside the Abeokuta-Lagos bound train on Sunday, as passengers engaged in fisticuff and verbal war over seats arrangement, a development which became rowdy as the train embarked on the one hour trip.
Penpushing reports that, crisis started when some passengers who had earlier agreed to stand for the trip following their lateness to arrive the Prof Wole Soyinka Railway station located at Laderin in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital
The late passengers had agreed with the management to purchase ‘standing’ tickets as condition for them to travel with the train, but on boarding, some of them took over the seats of the early arrival to the station.
Penpushing further reports that, the passengers suddenly reneged on the agreement, and refused to leave the seats meant for those who meet the target time of purchasing tickets, while the original owners of the designated seats also insisted that they must vacate their seats
The ‘emergency passengers’ turned deaf ears, hence, the atmosphere became charged, as crisis engulfed, resulting in serious face off, and exchange of hot and abusive words, as well as wresting themselves over the seats.
Penpushing also reports that, it took the intervention of officials of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on board to restore peace, following checks on various receipts, which exposed the antics of the passengers playing pranks in laying claims to the seats
The ugly development was, however, brought under control after about 20 minutes of the face-off, as number of passengers condemned actions of the passengers, who had earlier agreed to take a stand before the journey
Penpushing reports that, it is recalled that, about three weeks ago, hundreds of train passengers plying Ibadan-Lagos route embarked on a protest over inadequate coaches provided by the management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), as many of them are always stranded.
The travelers who could not hold back their displeasure as a result of the incessant development lamented over the ugly experience, with many of them who claimed to have arrived the station as early as 7.30am to board train scheduled to take off 8.25am, were told that, there was no more space to accommodate them for the Lagos trip.
Penpushing further reports that, the constraints of the authority of the Abeokuta station was that, the train leaving Ibadan for the trip to Lagos, is always loaded with huge passengers, which equally affects the Abeokuta passengers.
The stranded passengers argued that, the development is becoming unbecoming, and expressed disappointment about the management non-challance towards their own welfare, emphasizing that they were been subjected to inhuman treatment
Penpushing also reports that, the stranded protesters called for urgent need to address the issue, pointing out that, railway system has boosted transportation in the country, hence, the need for management to be proactive
The protesters, therefore called for additional two coaches to complement the existing nine coaches plying the route, stressing that they cannot continued to suffer, as a result of the non-challance of the management.
Penpushing reports that, one of the stranded passengers, Lekan Olamide in an interview with Penpushing online Television crew, recalled that, the incident has continued to occurred, saying it was uncalled for
‘We are commuters going to Lagos and Ibadan This same issue happened two weeks ago .we come from town to this place, it cost fortunes, when you now get here , we’ve been here for 7.30am , and telling you there is no train, we can’t understanding what’s really happening’, he lamented
‘They should give us vital information, or place it online, so that people, know what exactly going on, and know what to be done as at when due. That train is about 9 coaches, they should make two coaches available for Abeokuta, dedicate two coaches, is not that the train is coming from the North’,Olamide added.
‘It is coming from Ibadan , let two coaches available, and each coach , is about 40/50 seats , if you say you are picking about 100 or 200 people from Abeokuta, that is enough. You don’t stress people like this. You get to park, we get stress, we now get to train station to face same stress’, he stated
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