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Aregbesola’s free ride: Many stranded as travellers besiege railway terminal

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Hundreds of Osun-bound passengers, who had gathered at the Iddo Terminal of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) in Lagos for the free train ride of the Osun Government ahead of the Sallah, were stranded on  Sunday.

Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state

Newsmen report that the huge number of passengers who turned out for the free ride were more than  the available coaches.

Some of the stranded passengers, who spoke to newsmen, said they were pained at not making the trip.

They, however, commended the governor’s gesture.

Mr Jerry Oche, the Lagos State District Manager of  NRC,  said that the passengers available for the gesture were more than the available coaches.

Oche, however,  said that special train ride would continue on Monday to convey the remaining passengers going for the Eid-el-Kabir to Osogbo as arranged by the governor.

“The first train ride left today(Sunday) at 8:38 am because of the crowd on the ground.

“We don’t want a situation where the train will be overcrowded, another train will move the remaining passengers tomorrow (Monday)  with 15 coaches.

“We have moved 10 coaches today and each coach contains  96 passengers;  by tomorrow,  it will make a total of 25 coaches to Osun, ” he said.

Mr Lawal Ahmed, an artisan, told newsmen he was shocked when he got to the terminal to see the crowd and was told the train had left.

“The NRC should increase the number of coaches to enable the passengers to enjoy the train services,’’ he said.

Mrs Sade Saidu said in spite of her early arrival at the terminal, she was not lucky to be on board.

“I was told the train left early this morning but they said another train is moving passengers tomorrow to Osun, I will try and join that tomorrow, ” she said.

Newsmen report that many travellers had pleaded with the state government to provide more coaches or extend the days allotted for the exercise.

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