The security personnel attached to the railway station did not do enough to justify their posting. After going round each coach checking passengers with genuine tickets, they resorted to extortion from passengers with luggage they considered too ‘big’. I saw a young student being asked to pay N500, when the ticket from Kaduna to Minna costs N320. He begged and told them, his Ghana-must-go bag only contained his books, clothes, stove, etc, to no avail. Other elderly passengers also joined in pleading; it didn’t work. They threaten to de-board him at kakwa rail station with other ‘defaulters’ if he did not oblige them.
If travelling by train worldwide is the safest and cheapest means, then that purpose was defeated that day. Come to think of it, a bus from Kaduna to Minna would not even amount to what these security men were charging for luggage of poor and innocent passengers on transit.
Later, I demanded to see their manager on transit and lodge a complaint, but was blocked at the door by a security man who demanded I state the nature of the complaint before he would listen. I knew that if I did that, it would be mission impossible.
On the walls of each cauch by the entrance and exit of each door, these inscriptions can be read:
NO TRADING on train
NO ALMS BEGGING on train
NO LAPPING on train
The only prohibited activity that did not occur on that day was the “NO LAPPING” bit. I found it hard to think that the management of the railway services would not be aware of all these unwholesome practices that take place in the open in transit.
Zachiam Bayei, Minna<firstname.lastname@example.org>;