By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed thatÂ two people from Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi State have been sentenced to nine Â months imprisonment each for vandalising electricity equipment.
According to the Deputy Commandant of the NSCDC, who is the Head of Department, Critical National Assets and Infrastructure Protection, Bauchi State Command, Mr Okoh Philips, the two people were arrested and charged to court and were found guilty of the offences levelled against them.
Phillips disclosed this on Monday while answering questions from journalists during a one day sensitisation of stakeholders on the Protection of National Assets and Critical Infrastructure, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), at Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi.
He said the NSCDC has not rested on its oars in carrying out its constitutional mandate of protecting national assets and critical infrastructure, but has been making efforts aimed at arresting people who vandalise, destroy or tamper with the assets and forcing them to replace, restore and pay for damages.
“If anyone is found vandalising any of these critical infrastructure like government buildings, petroleum pipelines, electricity transformers, cables, poles among others, they will be arrested and prosecuted,” Philips said.
He added that: “As I speak with you now, two people from Misau (in Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi State) areÂ in jail for vandalising some PHCN equipment. Not only that, they were fined to pay N200,000 compensation to the Jos Distribution Company (JED).
“Again, some from Tafawa Balewa are in cell. They were caught vandalising PHCN systems.”
The deputy commandant warned that anyone caught tampering with any critical infrastructure, national asset or equipment will be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
The Director of NOA in Bauchi State, Nuru Yusuf Kobi, said the workshop was necessary in view of the huge sums of money the government budgeted in 2017 and 2018 for the provision of infrastructure to Nigerians.
He said that since the recent launch of the ‘Change Begins with Me’ by President Muhammadu Buhari, “it is now left for us to take this campaign to the nooks and crannies of this state to talk to people to change their behaviours, law abiding and take government properties as their own so that they also take responsibility for protecting them”.
Kobi called on Nigerians to change their ways “because everybody doing what is not good knows that very well and need to change without the law enforcement agencies going after them”.
He recalled that the NOA was established to enlighten the public on government policies and programmes apart from orientation and reorientation on critical issues.
He commended the state command of the NSCDC for ensuring discipline and maturity in the discharge of its responsibilities in line with the present administration’s Change Begins with Me campaign.