Home Transport Amaechi suggests death penalty for railway track vandals

Amaechi suggests death penalty for railway track vandals

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The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has advocated for death penalty for railway track vandals.

He made this call duringa Town Hall Meeting on ”Protecting Public Infrastructure” on Monday in Abuja, Amaechi said rail track vandalism is a serious offence that must attract capital punishment.

He said, ”I am not quantifying the material cost; what I am quantifying is the lives that will be lost. Imagine that a driver of a rail track is driving and suddenly bumps into a track that has been severed. What happens? It will derail.

”Each coach in Nigeria carries about 85 passengers, sometimes we carry 14 coaches, sometimes 20. So imagine you are carrying a train of 14 or 20 coaches with 85 passengers in each coach, if it derails, can you quantify how many passengers that would have died in the course of one man thinking he is making money.

”So, it is not about the cost but the lives that would have been lost because of a few interest. Some people have recommended that since these people are killing people – if an accident happens people will die – so we should go back to the National Assembly and pass a law that does not only criminalise the action but consequences should be death.”

He added that if armed robbery, whether successful or not, attracts life imprisonment, rail track vandalism should not be any less.

He stressed that the track vandalism is being done in collaboration with foreign partners.

”In Jos, they arrested a Chinese company that bought those tracks from them, went to court and the court found them guilty and fined them N200,000. So there must be consequences as N200,000 is not enough,” he further stated.

Amaechi lauded  residents along the Lagos-Ibadan rail track as no incident of vandalism had been recorded there

He said, “Lagos and the Western District recorded one, North Western 31, Northern District 10, North Eastern 43, Eastern 36 and North Central 50 incidents of vandalism. Abuja-Kaduna has 13, Warri-Itakpe 2 and Lagos -Ibadan nil.”

He said the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) were making efforts to reduce the rate of vandalism but a lot still needed to be done.

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