The Offa Descendants’ Union, a Kwara-based group has rubbished the statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of Kwara Fire Service, Hassan Adekunle on the coaches claimed to have been set ablazed by hoodlums in Offa area on Tuesday.
Adekunle had earlier stated that the Service rescued about 13 coaches of a north-bound train from burning by fire in the Offa area on Tuesday.
The Fire Service had also claimed that the train which was coming from Lagos was reportedly set ablaze by some hoodlums when it had a stop-over for repairs at the Offa Railway Station.
“The incident occurred about 5:17 pm at Offa Railway Station in Offa, Kwara State. Out of the 15 coaches contained by the affected train, two were burnt due to the rigorous efforts made by firefighters,” the statement partly read.
In a counter statement titled, ‘Nobody sets North-bound Train on fire in Offa’ on Friday, ODU was categorical that after thoroughly investigating the incident, it found out that no locomotive heading to Northern Nigeria was set ablaze in their part of Kwara state.
The Offa Descendants’ Union, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Maruf Ajenifuja, explained that its investigations revealed that two abandoned train coaches of over six years have become hideouts for miscreants who smoked and left cigarette droppings that caused the fire outbreak in the two abandoned coaches.
“O.D.U wishes to reiterate that our stock in trade in Offa is developing and donating properties worth millions of naira to the Federal and State Governments just like the case of 68 PMF Squadron Base (MOPOL Barrack), Ultra Modern Accident and Emergency Ward, etc. And not vandalization of public properties.
“O.D.U uses this opportunity to draw the attention of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to all their abandoned properties including staff quarters and train coaches and the need to work with the security operatives to get rid of miscreants occupying their properties in Offa,” the statement read.