By Ismail Auwal

Ticket racketeering has returned to the Kaduna-Abuja train station after the Nigerian Railway Cooperation’s (NRC) e-ticketing website went down four days ago.

According to the customers that patronize the station, some NRC staff are hoarding the tickets to charge exorbitant prices to their desperate customers.

Hundreds of passengers who couldn’t afford the ticket price at the black market increased price of “N10,000” were forced to cancel their trip or take the “deadly Kaduna-Abuja road.”

Sadeeq Sheshe, who was at the station, told SAHELIAN TIMES that, “I believe the increased passenger volume is due to the fear of kidnappers along the Kaduna-Abuja route, and the e-ticketing website has also been down.”

According to him, more passengers now prefer to travel by train for the comfort and safety it provides, resulting in high demand for tickets.

As a result of this situation, desperate passengers have been forced to purchase tickets at outrageous prices from middlemen.

Our reporter discovered that, despite the difficulty in obtaining the tickets, influential individuals have no trouble obtaining the tickets and boarding the train.

Abubakar stated that he arrived at the station around 5:00 a.m. on Sunday to purchase tickets for the 6:40 a.m. train, but “I had to cancel the trip because even with the price increase to N10,000, I couldn’t get one and I was willing to pay.”

“I have a visa interview in Abuja on Monday morning; my only option is to pray and travel by road,” he explained.

It will be recalled that recently gunmen had attacked motorists on the Abuja-Kaduna highway and whisked away several people in series of operations that lasted nearly four days in a row.

Alhaji Sagir Hamidu, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and governorship aspirant in Zamfara State, was among those killed along the route on Sunday, October 21.

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