FG Condemns Hate Speech, Decries Crude Oil Pipeline Vandalism

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Amina Bello-Shamak
  • Ambode canvasses new technology for crime fighting

Gboyega Akinsanmi

As the 2019 elections approach, the federal government thursday condemned hate speech and cautioned political gladiators against plunging Nigeria into uncontrollable crisis through the use of provocative comments.

It also decried the recent spate of oil pipeline vandalism, illegal oil bunkering and oil theft, which it claimed, had put the Nigerian economy in dire situation with the potential to plunge the country into financial crisis.

Speaking thursday at the Federal and States Security Administrators’ meeting held at the NECA House, Ikeja where security chiefs convened to deliberate on security issues that might impact negatively on the country, the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr. Amina Bello-Shamaki, canvassed peaceful and successful elections in 2019, noting that it “is only when there is peace and tranquility that successful elections can be held in the country. This is critical to ensuring good governance.”

Shamaki also urged the political leaders “to be wary of their utterances, actions and activities in order not to plunge the country into uncontrollable crisis.

“It is important all political gladiators bear this in mind as the 2019 elections approach,” she said. She implored all Osun State governorship candidates “to play by the rules and support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make the election devoid of violence and ensure that the process is conclusive.”

She cautioned all political contestants across the federation against the use of hate speech before, during and after the election, bearing in mind that all actors in the process “are going to live together after the elections have come and gone.”

On the pipeline vandalism, Shamaki lamented the increasing rate of attack on oil and gas installation, which she said, had put Nigeria in dire situation and posed the potential threat of plunging the country into intractable financial crisis.

In 2017, specifically, the permanent secretary cited a report of the Nigeria Natural Resource Centre (NNRC), which revealed that the country lost N995 billion to large-scale oil theft in the Niger Delta alone.

According to her, this is not including the activities of these vandals and oil thieves in Lagos, Ikorodu, Arepo, Kogi and Kaduna. In a similar report in 2016, the federal government revealed that about N3.8 trillion was recorded as loss from crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism as a matter of urgent national priority.

Also speaking, Ambode, who was represented at the meeting by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, observed that the meeting was crucial at a time when political activities were gathering momentum towards the 2019 general election.

He noted that the meeting should come up with new technology and strategies to effectively address the peculiar security challenges that might impact negatively on the electoral process.

Ambode acknowledged that the state government had taken some positive and proactive actions in line with some of these recommendations, especially with regards to the issues of drug abuse and the state of the prisons.

He acknowledged some security challenges that tasked the state capacity, especially in tracking criminal activities in the creeks and waterfront communities, among others.

Despite these difficulties, Ambode said the state government evolved proactive strategies with the support of the local communities and security agencies operating in the state.

With the implementation of these recommendations, the governor noted that Lagos State “is no go area for inter-state or cross-boundary marauders or any individual or group with criminal or mischievous
intent.”