The Nigerian Railway Corporation says the newly established Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Railway Command, Lagos will help checkmate rooftop riders on moving trains.
The Lagos Railway District Manager, Jerry Oche, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday that the command would also help to enhance safety and security of commuters at stations and on board.
The NRC boss said: “For me, this is long overdue, but again, it is better late than never.
“As a matter of fact, we have already started using them (operatives of the NSCDC).
“Would I say it is coincidence or right timing.
“They (NSCDC) came at a time when we are taking a decision to critically look at the menace of rooftop riders on moving trains.
“And so, the first thing we did was to deploy them with the police and with our Man O’ War.
“Right now, everyday we have them stationed at some of the major trouble spots (railways stations) like Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja and Agege.
“In the morning and in the evening, we have them stationed at the stations to deter unruly behaviour of some passengers and the rooftop riders.
“That has been my major headache.
“And, of course, the general security and protection of passengers.”
Oche, who assured commuters of more efficient train services, said their safety and security was paramount to the NRC.
According to him, the NRC has had hoodlums attacking train commuters before, but with the NCSDC, the police and Man O’ War, all such cases will be a thing of the past.
He said: “While we are trying to do all these, our commuters should not complicate the issues by riding without tickets or proving stubborn when tickets are requested to be shown.
“The only contract the NRC has with you is the ticket, so if they ask for your ticket, don’t say it is not their business.
“It is their business.
“If you don’t show them your ticket, they will treat you like a ticketless passenger.
“They are there to protect.
“So, instead of being manhandled by them, let our commuters cooperate with them when they see them.”
Oche said the NRC had been arresting rooftop riders and prosecuting them to further redefine train operations, with some being convicted.
He said: “A ticketless passenger has no right on the train; your right is your ticket.
“Please, don’t use the excuse that the train is congested for you to be at the top of the train.
“Don’t do that.
“I still maintain, if the train is filled up, please return the ticket, get refunded and get an alternative means, instead of joining the train and being embarrassed.”
Oche said the corporation had been getting results from all its efforts on safety and security of passengers.
NAN reports that the Federal Government recently established the NSCDC Railway Command, considering the rampant cases of vandalism of materials used in the ongoing construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line by hoodlums.