The FCTA Department of Security Service had received reports on the vandalisation of the streetlights, taking place mostly in the middle of the night.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has directed security agencies to clampdown on criminals vandalising street lights in the federal capital, Abuja.
Dr Peter Olumuji, Secretary, Command and Control Centre, Department of Security, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja on Monday.
NAN recalls that Wike, on assumption of duty as FCT Minister, identified the restoration of street lights as one of his cardinal agenda to light up the city, as part of efforts to make Abuja a befitting capital city.
However, while efforts were ongoing to restore and make all streetlights functional across the city, some miscreants resorted to vandalising the facilities. particularly the solar-powered ones in some parts of the city.
While noting that street lighting of the FCT had improved drastically in line with the directive of the FCT Minister, Olumuji acknowledged that the ongoing sabotage by unidentified criminals. He said that the FCTA Department of Security Service had received reports on the vandalisation of the streetlights, taking place mostly in the middle of the night.
He said the reports indicated that the miscreants target the solar-powered streetlights, their batteries, solar panels, and the lightning mechanisms, including the poles.
“The streetlights were bought with taxpayers’ money and installed to brighten the city at night and ensure that FCT is secured, but sadly, some criminal elements among us are vandalising them.
“This is sad,” he said.
He disclosed that the FCT Minister had directed the Police Commissioner, FCT Command, in charge of internal security to clampdown on the criminals sabotaging ongoing efforts to light up the city.
He added that the officer in charge of critical infrastructure and national assets at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps was equally asked to work with the police to track and arrest the culprits.
“The minister had directed the security agencies to ensure that all the miscreants that go about vandalising streetlights are apprehended and prosecuted to end the wicked act.
“They are making progress and soon, some of the vandals apprehended would be paraded and taken to court for prosecution.
“The streetlights were installed for the benefit of all residents and to enable people to move freely within the city at night.
“However, you cannot vandalise the streetlights and still complain that the government is not doing anything.,” he stated.
Olumuji said that while there are plans to replace the vandalised streetlights, residents should learn to take ownership of facilities installed in their areas by reporting any suspicious movement to security agencies. He explained that good illumination improves security within the city because no criminal element wants to operate under the glare of light.
“They always carry out their trade under darkness.
“So, when you have all the streetlights working, it improves and aids better security of lives and properties,” he added.