Two men have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for allegedly vandalising materials used for the construction of roads and bridges in Ebonyi State.
The development was made known in Abakaliki on Thursday by the NSCDC State Commandant in Ebonyi, Mr Felix Gbolade.
The commandant also disclosed that personnel of the Command’s anti-vandal unit provided information to effect the arrest of the two suspects on August 26.
The statement read, “The suspects were arrested with steel, cables, among other materials used for road and bridge construction in the state.
“Investigations are ongoing as the suspects would be charged to court at its conclusion,” he added.
The NSCDC commandant expressed regrets that vandalism had undermined the Federal Government’s intention to provide adequate infrastructure to the people.
“The NSCDC is saddled with the responsibility of curbing this ugly trend and we solicit useful information from the public.”
In addition, the commandant lambasted Nigerians patronizing the vandals, saying that they indirectly encourage theft.
“I also warn vandals to turn a new leaf because we would make Ebonyi unhabitable for them,” he noted.
However, one of the suspects, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that he did not vandalise any material.
“I am a welder in Abakaliki and a friend kept some materials in my shop because his own shop had no space.
“I was therefore surprised when personnel of this security agency raided my shop and said that the items were stolen,” he said.
Meanwhile, twenty persons died and 36 were injured in separate auto crashes involving Toyota Hiace buses in two weeks in Kogi, a Federal Road Safety Corps official has disclosed.
Corps Commander Samuel Oyedeji, Kogi Sector Commander, FRSC, said in Lokoja on Thursday that the fatalities were from three separate accidents.
He described the fatalities within just two weeks as very worrisome and unfortunate, considering the efforts of the corps to reduce road crashes on highways.
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The sector commander explained that the most worrisome was the accident of September 3 that left 12 killed and 6 injured, when an 18-seater Toyota Hiace bus collided with a Howo Sono Truck along Obajana–Lokoja road.
“The dead victims were given mass burial at the Central Mosque Obajana, while the injured were taken to First Nation Orthopedic Hospital Zariagi for medical attention.
“The property of the victims and the vehicle are in custody of Police (MTD) at Obajana Police Division.
“On Sept. 10, we had a lone accident involving a Toyota Hiace bus, which left five persons dead and 15 injured at Zango, close to Chukwumereje Roundabout within Lokoja metropolis.
“Just on Sept. 13, three persons lost their lives again while 15 were injured at Omoko village along Abujai-Lokoja road where another Toyota Hiace bus lost control and crashed at around 10:30 a.m.,” he said.
The FRSC Commander said that joint rescue patrol teams of Abaji, Zebra 16 Abaji and Zebra 13 Gegu, were at Wednesday’s accident scene and rescued the 15 injured victims.
According to him, the injured were rushed to General Hospital, Abaji and Ayaura Comprehensive Hospital, Abaji.
He said that the three corpses were deposited at the mortuary of Abaji General Hospital.
Oyedeji, who attributed the causes of the accidents to speeding, overloading and poor vehicle maintenance culture by motorists, called for caution to stop the carnage and save the lives of innocent citizens.
He further advised motorists to stop night journeys and ensure strict adherence to traffic rules and regulations, to avoid unnecessary road crashes on highways.