- Rotimi Amaechi has revealed that he had once predicted the Monday attack on the Kaduna-bound train
- According to the minister of transportation, he had requested digital security apparatus to forestall such incident
- He insisted that the equipment would eliminate all blind spots on the train corridors across the country
In what many Nigerians will describe as a tragedy, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has revealed that he predicted the Monday attack on the Kaduna-bound train.
According to him, he had requested digital security apparatus to forestall such incident but was turned down.
He insisted that the attack would have been foiled if the procurement of the N3 billion high capacity rail track cameras and sensors was not blocked, adding that the equipment would eliminate all blind spots on the train corridors across the country, Daily Trust reports.
They shot at our train many times, abducted VIPs - Lady with gunshot wound from Abuja-Kaduna train attack says
He said this during a visit to the scene of the attacked.
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“If we had those equipment on the tracks, you will see the entire track. And we warned that lives would be lost. Now lives were lost. Eight persons dead and 25 persons in the hospital. We don’t know how many people have been kidnapped. And the cost of those equipment is just N3bn. The cost of what we have lost is more than N3bn.
Reacting to the development, Dayo Williams, a social commentator who spoke with Legit.ng blamed the federal government, insisting that there is tendency for the government to incur heavy losses following the attack.
"Nigerians were being abducted and killed daily on the notorious Abuja-Kaduna road. The government could not do anything to secure the route from the reign of kidnappers. Folks abandoned the road for the train, thinking it was safer. The terrorists were only bidding their time to attack. And boom, it happened! You address a problem from the root and not from the branch.
"I do not even have the presence of mind to process the multidimensional implications of the attack on the train.
"The FG borrowed heavily to finance the construction of the rail and get the train on track. I am unsure if it has started the loan repayment.
"Now, bandits have attacked it. They may attack again if nothing is done to secure the route. What this implies is that there's a climate of fear already. Passengers will be fearful to board the train next time. And this means a loss in revenue for the NRC.
"Once there's a significant loss of revenue for the NRC, the Abuja-Kaduna rail becomes economically unviable. It may bring attendant loss of jobs. The small businesses around the train stations may vamoose meaning another round of job losses.
"Yet, the government still has to pay the loan. It's a given that it may be forced to look elsewhere to fund the non-performing loan. It's a double whammy for us."
Former Zamfara state deputy governor shot in Abuja-Kaduna train attack
An aide to the former deputy governor confirmed that Wakkala sustained gunshot wounds in the terrorist attack.
The northern politician was returning from the just concluded APC national convention held in Abuja.