Ex-Abia PDP chair, Nwaka in train accident
. Scores of cows crushed
. Narrates encounter
By Steve Oko
The immediate -past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Senator Emma Nwaka, and some prominent Nigerians including some foreign diplomats, today escaped death by the whiskers when the train in which they were traveling collided with cows.
They were traveling from Kaduna to Abuja when the accident occurred on top of a narrow bridge inside the forest.
Scores of cows were crushed by the train which according to eyewitness was hooting for so long apparently to scare the animals but they stubbornly blocked the rail track, thus leading to the accident which claimed them in their numbers.
But for the timely intervention of armed security operatives travelling with the VIPs their lives would have been put on the line as the herders sustained heavy loss following the death of many of their animals.
According to a release by the former PDP boss it took about 40 minutes for the rail track to be cleared of the carcarces of the cows and the train put back on track.
The release made available to Wawa News Global indicated that the train had to go on slow speed after resuming its journey to avoid derailing as the bodies of cows still stock under the wagons.
Below is the account of the senator who had close shove with death :
“On my return journey to Abuja today 8/9/18 from Kaduna where I went on a political party assignment , our train collided with a herd of cows on a long bridge below which is a fast flowing river.
“Moments before the ugly encounter , I noticed that the train was unusually repeatedly blaring its horns while slowing down at the same time. I told myself that we could be approaching another station. The train eventually came to a screeching halt on top of the bridge.
“I looked through the window and saw cows hurtling down the river from the bridge. What had happened was that our train had collided with cows, crushing a lot of them and maiming so many.
“There was palpable apprehension in the first class coach in which I travelled with other eminent Nigerians including the Majority Leader of the Senate and some foreigners .
“The armed security men on board the train scrambled to ensure our safety and get the train on its way again. We were worried that the modern herdsmen who are usually armed to the teeth could decide to attack us.
“Meanwhile , the experienced train driver kept moving the train back and forth at slow pace to allow for the removal of crushed cows under the wheels.
“Altogether , we spent not less than 30 minutes at the spot. Thanks to modern communication technology, the oncoming train had to wait at the next station. After the rail tracks were cleared to a tolerable extent, we were once again on our way.
“Only that our journey took more than the normal estimated time of two hours.
Considering that highway marauders whose intractable penchant for violent robbery, kidnapping, rape and other inconceivable crimes have taken over the Abuja-Kaduna Express Road, rail and air travel remain the next best alternative .
“I must commend the Nigeria Railway Corporation for the huge effort that have made to make travel on the Abuja/Kaduna route pleasurable and safe. The train is neat and runs on time.
“The presence of armed policemen on board gives peace of mind. On both sides of the rail track, you will notice dwarf perimeter fence ostensibly to avoid encroachment and the kind of encounter we experienced today.
“The Nigeria state must decide whether we want to embrace modernity with all its promises and advantages or remain locked in the medieval era. We all know that culture is dynamic: nomadism is one of those ways of life that should have no place in the world of today.
“These herdsmen behave the way they do because they don’t know any better. To show they love them, their kith and kin who are exposed to the new and better ways of doing things owe them a moral burden and duty of redemption .
“Among these herdsmen, most times, are under-aged kids who should be in school. Rain or shine, you find them wearing torn clothes which could barely cover their malnourished bodies, often times trudging barefooted inside the bush, on the roads and rail tracks. If this does not count as child abuse, then I don’t know what the term stands for. We can and should do better for our country, Nigeria and her people.
“Eenator Emma Nwaka”