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If I Was A Lawmaker, Railway Offenders Will Be Charged With Manslaughter – Rotimi Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has come out to say that anyone caught vandalising railway facilities in the country should be charged with manslaughter.

He recently revealed this during the ministerial media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, imposing strict penalties would definitely reduce railway vandalism while acting like a deadly derailment for those planning to commit the crime.

He added that if he was a lawmaker, he would work on very daunting consequences for railway offenders.

His words, “That’s why I say to Nigerians that if I were to be a lawmaker, I’d be recommending manslaughter charges against those who engage in the vandalisation of rail tracks.”

“The reason is that it takes about 800 metres for a locomotive to stop. As it’s running now, it is running with speed.”

“The moment it wants to stop, the driver will apply the brakes here and it will take 800 metres to stop.”

“So, how will the driver know that you have removed or vandalised a track 800 meters away? He will not know until it gets to the track.”

“So, when it gets to the track, what happens? He applies the brakes, but he needs 800 metres to stop. So, once it gets to that track that has been vandalised, he will derail. Once it derails, some people may die.”

“Each coach takes 85 persons. And we are talking about 14 to 20 coaches. You can imagine the number of people that will die as a result of that derailment.”

“This is just because one selfish Nigerian is trying to steal tracks to make money. I think, like other countries, I’m not saying they should be killed because there’s poverty. But I’m saying they should be charged with mass manslaughter because people will die.”

“But again, they will tell you that manslaughter means that somebody died. If anybody dies, they should be charged with manslaughter. If nobody dies, they should be charged with stealing. That’s my view.”

“I say that because when they were stealing the narrow gauge, the one from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, I wasn’t worried. Whether we like it or not, we will replace it. That is the contract.”

“But they move from stealing narrow gauge from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri to stealing narrow gauge from Lagos to Kano.”

“We are looking for a possible company under a Public-Private Partnership agreement that will take over that. If they take over, we will remove the old track and replace it with new ones.”

“But when they now move to Itakpe-Warri, which is now standard gauge, brand new tracks, then it becomes very dangerous.”

“A poor man from Warri who is going to Itakpe by 6 o’clock train does not know that his train will derail because somebody has cut off the track. That is dangerous.”

“And I think that the solution is exactly what the government is doing now about insecurity.”

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