Despite warnings and arrests on different occasions, some passengers still hang on roof of train coaches in Lagos. Following the continued menace, National Union of Railway Workers, NURW, has now called for the establishment of mobile courts, to deal with hoodlums and passengers hanging on the roof of coaches.
Investigation revealed that an average of 80 illegal passengers hang on the roof of coaches on daily train shuttles from Ijoko in Ogun, to Iddo and to Apapa, in Lagos.
The illegal passengers are common on trains that leave Ijoko to Iddo or Apapa between 6.15 a.m. and 8: 00 a.m.
General Secretary of NURW, Martin Adeyanju, lamented that the illegal passengers were a major challenge to the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, because some of such passengers had fallen off the trains in the past and died.
“Our stations are porous,” Adeyanju said, noting, “The Ikeja station, for example, can be fenced. If the train gets to the station and it is only 30 seats that are available, the ticket operator will sell tickets only to that number of passengers.”
Adeyanju noted that roof-top riders had developed tactics to enable them continued the criminal act without tickets, noting that “at each station, they inform one another through the phone that security officials are at a particular station, to arrest defaulters.
“Apart from that, when there is security checks at any station, those with tickets inside the train will pass their tickets to the roof-riders. When the security personnel approach the roof-riders, they will show their tickets to prove that they paid, but could not get any seats. It is a dilemma,” Adeyanju said.