Destruction of public infrastructure is a form of terrorism -Lai Mohammed

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  Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says destruction of public infrastructure is a form of terrorism.   There has been …

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says
destruction of public infrastructure is a form of terrorism.

 

There has been a series of attacks in recent times, targeted
at public infrastructure, especially police stations.

 

There have also been cases of vandalisation of rail tracks.

 

Speaking on Monday in Abuja at a town hall meeting on
protection of public infrastructure, the minister said the removal of rail
tracks can cause train derailment with deadly consequences.

He lamented the attacks on government buildings and the
killing of security operatives, adding that tampering with aviation
infrastructure endangers the lives of travellers.

 

“On another level is the incessant attacks on critical
public facilities such as police stations and INEC offices. As a matter of
fact, the destruction of public infrastructure and facilities is not just
vandalism, it is a form of terrorism,” he said.

 

“Railway tracks are being subjected to wanton destruction,
bridge railings are being removed, manhole covers are being pilfered, street
lights and other power infrastructure, oil pipelines, telecoms facilities and
critical aviation infrastructure are being damaged or stolen.

 

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“Apart from endangering the lives of fellow innocent
citizens, such unpatriotic acts take a toll on the government’s limited
revenue, as it seeks to replace, rehabilitate or totally reconstruct such
destroyed infrastructure.”

 

The minister said the town hall meeting was imperative
because it touched on an issue at the core of economic growth and national
development.

 

He said when public infrastructure is being targeted for
destruction by some “unpatriotic” Nigerians, it calls for great concern and
immediate action.

 

The minister said the country has long suffered massive
infrastructure deficit due to decades of neglect, population explosion, and the
absence of maintenance culture.

 

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He, however, said since coming into office in 2015, the
Muhammadu Buhari administration has embarked on ensuring rapid economic growth
with equity.

 

He said the administration has invested heavily in providing
new infrastructure, reconstructing and rehabilitating existing ones, in spite
of a drastic drop in revenue and competing priorities.

 

“However, in recent times, such laudable efforts of the
government are being thwarted by some unpatriotic citizens through wanton
destruction of critical infrastructure,” he said.

 

“This is why we have decided to organise a series of town
hall meetings to address this incessant and worsening destruction of public infrastructure
and facilities.”

 

He added that the town hall meeting will help to create in
the public mind that government assets are citizens’ property and must be
protected for the benefit of all.

 

In attendance as co-panelists were Mohammed Bello, Rotimi
Amaechi, Babatunde Fashola, and Hadi Sirika, ministers of the federal capital
territory (FCT), transportation, works and housing, and aviation, respectively.