The Commandant General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ade Abolurin has raised the alarm that economic infrastructure vandals attempted to shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and communication activities around the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja.
Abolurin disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the parade of suspected oil thieves and six trucks of stolen petroleum products, impounded by the Anti-Vandal Squad and Special Force of the NSCDC.
He said that the vandals were arrested in a joint operation carried out between the National Headquarters team and that of FCT Command in Dobi, Gwagwalada Area Council and other parts of the FCT.
According to him, the routine operation was in order to rid the state capital of all those involved in vandalism of PHCN and Nitel Cable and those dealing illegally in petroleum products.
“With respect to executing the mandate of the Corps in the protection of Oil and Gas Installations, Telecommunication and PHCN equipment, Transport Sector such as the Rails and Road, the surveillance team was able to monitor activities of vandals and saboteurs which led to the arrest of eight suspects in connection with illegal hoarding and sales of adulterated petroleum products as well as illegal hoarding and sales of cooking gas.
“This is the one vandalised along the air port road, as their group doesn’t want air port to function. The other group also targets the communication infrastructure along the Federal Secretariat affecting efficiency of communication network”, he said.
Similarly, he revealed that about 33,000 liters truck containing stolen crude oil was apprehended with registration number KANO XX754KWK, five other trucks suspected to be conveying liquefied natural gas was also apprehended by the team.
“However, among those arrested were Personnel of department of Petroleum Resources”, he further disclosed.
Abolurin noted that the arrest within FCT was only a few among the bulk of persons arrested across the federation by the Corps within the week alone.
He stressed that the new surveillance vehicles donated to the Corps have been put to good use and one of the dividends was the successful arrest of the economic saboteurs which was part of the justification that the Corps was fully prepared to tackle the issue of vandalism globally.
The Corps Commandant however blamed some members of the public for the erratic power supply, fuel scarcity and poor communication network due to criminal activities targeted against crucial economic facilities.
He appealed to them to give useful information to the Corps for timely intervention, and emphasised that the battle against vandalism of crucial national infrastructure and assets and oil thieves could be won if all stakeholders and the public do their best by fighting the scourge collectively.
He said: “Today you hear of complaints of power failure but you have seen before you some armoured cables being vandalised by the same citizens. If you do this in one or two other parts of the country, tell me why there will not be power outage.
“When you talk about economic sabotage, this is it, and this concerns both the electric and communication infrastructures. This also happens in the Oil and gas industry, which is wickedness, ungodliness and unpatriotic act from the fellow citizens. You can see fuel queue everywhere, causing economic hardship. By the time we persistently, consistently continue in the economic sabotage what then do we have to complain”.
These people look gentle in nature but very criminally minded. So we appeal to both the citizens and other security agencies to give us maximum support. Let it be known that if we have successfully prosecuted offenders in Lagos, Kebbi, Edo and many other places you will know that we will not spare anybody no matter how highly connected”.