THE Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) yesterday said its men arrested 1,283 suspected vandals within a year. The arrests were made between January 2012 to this month.
Commandant-General of the Corps Dr Ade Abolurin, made the disclosure to reporters in Lagos on his way for an on-the-spot assessment NNPC pipeline explosion at Arepo, an Ogun State community.
Abolurin, who was represented by his deputy in charge of Operations, Mr Chidi Ewurum, noted that about 1,162 of the suspects were successfully prosecuted, while 119 were convicted.
He listed the states where the suspects were arrested to include: Rivers, Cross River, Lagos, Abia, Ogun, Kogi, Ondo and Edo.
According to the NSCDC chief, the suspects were arrested for vandalising pipes and cables belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Telecommunication (NITEL) and Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) cables.
“In recent times, the corps has clamped down on operatives of illegal refineries in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States and shut them down while several tankers with vandalised products have been confiscated,’’ he noted.
On the Arepo pipeline explosion, Abolurin, who expressed worries over the continuous vandalisation of public property, however, said that the Corps was re-strategising on the best way to secure the facility.
He warned vandals to keep off government property, threatening ”mother of all wars against the vandals” in any part of the country.
Abolurin, therefore, ordered the strengthening of the unit’s office at Are, with more men to mount 24 hours surveillance and routine checks in order to ensure that no such pipeline explosion happened again.
“We are seeking for collaboration and partnership with the community leaders, village heads, youths, vigilante groups and all necessary bodies within the community to join hands to eradicate the menace of vandalism,” he said.