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The Federal Government has revealed that it is seriously considering capital punishment for railway track vandals in the country given the level of economic damage they are dealing the country.
Transportation Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, gave this hint during a Town Hall Meeting on ‘Protecting Public Infrastructure‘ yesterday in Abuja.
According to Amaechi, rail track vandalism is a capital offense and its consequences should be treated as such.
‘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 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,‘ the minister submitted.
The minister further suggested that if armed robbery whether successful or not attracts life imprisonment, rail track vandalism should not be any less.
According to him, the track vanderlism is being done in collaboration with foreign partners.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK