Amaechi proposes stiff penalty for rail track vandals

Kariola Mustapha

16 June 2021

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Kariola Mustapha

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said anyone caught destroying railway assets in the country should be tried for manslaughter.

Amaechi said this during an interview with AriseTV on Monday.

He said, “Once a train derail, people will likely die. I have always supported those saying that anybody found destroying any of those rail assets should be tried for manslaughter.

“The reason is that if you cut off a rail track, it takes about 800 meters for train drivers to stop a train. If he suddenly sees there is no track in a particular place if it matches the brake, it would have crossed the track and it would derail.

“If it derails people will die. Anybody caught doing that, if you ask me, the law should be amended to include the fact that such should be punished for manslaughter. That will be my recommendation.”

The minister explained that he was not quantifying the material cost, saying, “What I am quantifying was the lives that will be lost.”

Amaechi added that foreigners were also behind the destruction of rail lines in Nigeria.

He cited how a Chinese man was caught in Jos, the Plateau State capital, vandalising rail lines alongside some Nigerians.

He said at least about 200 cases of rail line vandalism had been recorded in recent times, mostly in the northern region of the country, with the North Central having the highest number of cases (50).

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