By DAPO OLAWUNI
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi on Sunday morning visited the corporate headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) exactly one month and two days after the building was torched by hoodlums.
The Minister said he has directed the NPA approach cabinet and ask for reconstruction, depending on integrity test carried out on the building.
The minister lamented the extent of damage to the building, a federal government property built with tax payers money.
“This is completely disastrous, and I believe that it is not enough to vent your anger about police brutality, how does this concern the police, whether you like it or not, this would be refurbished and rebuilt, and it is all government funds, in order words it also belongs to those that set this place ablaze”
“In governance, those who commit crimes should be held liable, and appropriate punishment should be metted out to them” he said
Amaechi recalled how himself being a student in 1983 protested alongside other notable Nigerians and they never burn down or destroy any government property.
“From Buhari, up to Babangida, we were always on the streets coming out for protests.
It is legitimate to protest, but it is illegitimate to take other people’s rights, the right to protest is defined in the laws of Nigeria, it doesn’t include burning people’s houses, major or minor roads”
“It shouldn’t end here, if we don’t punish those who did this, then others might do it again” he stated
Amaechi said he has been given a written brief about the ugly incident, but that he is yet to go through it properly.
He however assured that investigations are ongoing between the management of NPA and the Nigerian Police.
“I have made decisions that NPA should come to cabinet and ask for reconstruction, depending on integrity because we don’t want to expose life” he said