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FG declares attacks on police, INEC facilities, acts of terrorism
By Modupe Shodeinde
The Federal Government has declared attacks on police stations, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices and destruction of critical public infrastructure and facilities a form of terrorism.
Speaking at a town hall meeting on protection of public infrastructure organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in Abuja, the Minister, Lai Mohammed stated that these acts should be not be considered as vandalism but terrorism.
He lamented that critical infrastructure developed by government were being destroyed by those it described as “unpatriotic citizens” thereby frustrating government’s efforts and depriving Nigerians of enjoying such infrastructure.
According to him, such items includes railway tracks, bridge railings, manhole covers, streetlights and power infrastructure such as oil pipelines, telecoms facilities and critical aviation groundwork.
The Federal Government has consequently threatened to do everything within its power to stop the destruction of public infrastructure and facilities by exposing, arresting and prosecuting those who steal or buy stolen items.
Mohammed pointed out that the Buhari administration had managed to bridge the infrastructure deficit gap long suffered in Nigeria due to decades of neglect, population explosion and lack of maintenance culture, stressing that previous governments did little hence the need to do everything possible to stop the destruction of public infrastructure and facilities.
“Apart from endangering the lives of innocent citizens, such unpatriotic acts take a huge toll on government’s revenue to replace, rehabilitate or reconstruct such destroyed infrastructure. Removal of rail tracks can cause train derailment, with deadly consequences, just as tampering with aviation infrastructure endangers the lives of passengers.
“Scores of police officers have been killed during attacks on police stations. These are acts of terrorism. When public infrastructure are being targeted for destruction, it calls for great concern and immediate action, hence our decision to organise this town hall meeting,” he stated.