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FG vows tough actions against pipeline vandals, power infrastructure saboteurs

By The Rainbow
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The Federal Government has warned that it will deal ruthlessly with

those engaged in pipeline vandalism and the sabotage of power

infrastructure that have combined to drastically reduce power

generation/transmission as well as fuel supplies in recent times, thus

inflicting untold hardship on Nigerians.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information

and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the repeated attacks on oil and

gas pipelines and the wilful shutdown of power facilities by

protesters amount to economic sabotage which no government will

tolerate.
”Vandals, whatever their motives are, cannot and will not be treated

with kid gloves because their actions constitute a clear and present

danger to the nation’s economic, social and political well being. The

attack on the Forcados Export Terminal that has affected gas

production by oil firms and reduced gas supply to power generating

plants and the shutdown of the Utorogu gas plant are totally

condemnable and cannot be allowed to continue.
”Also, while this Administration will not do anything to abridge the

constitutional rights of any individual or group to carry out

protests, it will also not tolerate a situation in which anyone will

hide under the guise óf legitimate protests to sabotage power

infrastructure. The shutdown of the national transmission facility in

Osogbo and the Ikeja Disco by some unionists amount to economic

sabotage,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the government is not unaware that as it steps up

the fight against corruption, corruption will vigorously fight back in

many forms, including the destruction/sabotage of key national

infrastructure to make the government look bad.
”However, nothing will make this government to slow down in its

anti-corruption fight and no one who is corrupt will be spared,” he

assured.
The Minister appealed to Nigerians to join hands with the government

to check the activities of the unscrupulous and unpatriotic elements

who have taken it upon themselves to continuously work against the

interest of the people.
”When oil and gas facilities are vandalized, the impact is felt

directly by Nigerians. When power infrastructure is sabotaged for

whatever reasons, Nigerians bear the brunt. While those actions may be

aimed at discrediting the government, those who pay the price are the

vast majority of innocent, law-abiding and well-meaning Nigerians, not

just the vandals or the saboteurs. This is why Nigerians must not

allow the few recreants behind these attacks to hold sway,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the power situation is gradually improving as

generation has now increased to around 4,000MW while the Minister of

State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, has assured that the

prevailing fuel queues will gradually ease in the next few days.