Christian leaders in Nigerian State Decry Government Indifference to Train Attack Victims

Christian leaders in Nigeria’s Kaduna State have expressed disappointment at the way their country’s government seems indifferent to the plight of the victims of the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack

In a Thursday April 28 report, Christian leaders under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the Nigerian State say while Nigeria is a democratic nation, it lacks freedom and security, “the most essential ingredient(s) of democracy.” 

CAN Kaduna State frowns at the way these families have been left on their own, especially the lack of adequate and encouraging proof from the government and the agency responsible for rail transportation to douse their fears,” the Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State has been quoted as saying.

In the report, Pastor Joseph Hayab says, “As part of utter disregard, not the managing Director of NRC (Nigerian Railway Corporation) nor the Hon Minister of Transport, who should have resigned and tendered a public apology by now for his or their failure, has acknowledged their oversight in averting the incident.”

The official of the Christian entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) adds, "It is unfortunate that while innocent citizens are held captive for no offense and at great risk for their safety, some individuals in charge of the transport industry, throwing decency to the wind, are mounting podiums, declaring to vie to be Nigeria’s next President."


On March 28, gunmen reportedly attacked a train traveling from Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, to Kaduna and opened fire that resulted in the death of seven passengers; 22 people were reportedly injured during the incident and another 68 abducted. 

On April 26, terrorists are reported to have released pictures of 62 hostages following the March 28 train attack. The picture has four groups of the victims of abduction.

In the April 28 report, the CAN official in Kaduna echoes the sentiments of Catholic Bishops in Nigeria who, in their collective statement dated April 4, said that Nigeria “groans in pain” amid “brutal slaughtering of fellow citizens”.

Pastor Hayab has said that while many Nigerian households are starving, others are jobless without food and health care, it is unfortunate that the citizens "cannot move freely to seek means to bring succor to their children, wives and aged parents due to fear of bandits and terrorists." 

The CAN official has called on followers of Christ in the West African nation to intensify prayers for the train attack abductees and their families. 

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“CAN, thus, on the 30th day of painful remembrance of the train attack and aggressive kidnap of lawful travelers who boarded the train call on all Christians in Kaduna State and beyond, with people of goodwill, to intensify prayers for the victims and their families,” he says. 

He has also called on the Federal government of Nigeria to “give definite marching orders” to the security agencies to rescue the abductees of the train attack. 

The Christian leader in Kaduna State has also urged Nigerians to continue to speak out until everyone in captivity is released and back home to their families.

To those who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train, the CAN official says they should release the kidnapped persons and not their pictures.

Pastor Hayab adds, "The terrorists should present any grievances they have directly to the government and stop inflicting pain on innocent Nigerians who are out seeking daily bread.”


The CAN official assures those in captivity of unceasing prayers. He says, “To those, the terrorists and bandits are holding hostage, we love you and will not cease to pray and play our role till you all come back safely while we hope that our country is liberated from all forms of criminality."

The CAN official implores, "May God deliver Nigeria from evil people and grant us peace and unity.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.