Thousands of holiday makers traveling to Osun, Kwara, Kogi states, and other parts of the country, have besieged the Iddo Terminus of the Nigerian Railway Corporation as the free eid-il-kabir festival free train ride provided by the government of Osun state entered its second day in Lagos. The free train initiative of the Osun state government was to help people travelling home for the Eid-il Kabir festival. But indigenes of neighbouring states have also taken the opportunity to get to various destinations when they arrive in the state capital, Osogbo.
A statement signed by the Commissioner of Commerce, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Ismail Adekunle Jayeoba-Alagbada, said the train ride is to facilitate stress-free travelling for the people, who are coming home for the festival. The free train ride, which spans five days, commenced on Saturday 12, 2013. For the journey to Osogbo, the train would take off from Iddo Terminus, Lagos, at 11 o'clock daily on Saturday 12th, Sunday, and Monday 14th.
The return trip to Lagos, according to the statement, is fixed for Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th as the train would depart Osogbo at 11 o'clock daily. Mr Jayeoba-Alagbada said the government embarked on the initiative in the past three years to reduce the stress people go through during Easter, Eid -il Fitri, Eid -il Kabir and Christmas festivals.
"We hope our people, wherever they are coming from, Oyo, Ogun or Lagos, would make maximum use of this gesture of the government and promptly too. This is a sign that government has the welfare interests of the people at heart and would not detract from providing same as and when required," Mr Jayeoba-Alagbada said.
A passenger, Idiat Oladosu, who said she was travelling to Oro, Kwara State, said it was a good opportunity for her to reduce her cost of travelling. Ganiyu Alimi, an indigene of Inisa in Odo Otin Local Government Area of the state, said he had been enjoying the free train ride since the inception of the Aregbesolas' administration.
Awololo Samson, said though he is not a Muslim coming for any festival, he joined the train in Lagos to arrive in Osogbo on his way to Lokoja as he believed that would reduce his cost of travelling.