The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Sunday described the Oct. 21 attack by hoodlums, masquerading as #EndSARS protesters, on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) headquarters as disastrous.
Amaechi, during a tour of NPA headquarters in Lagos, stressed that the perpetrators of the act should be punished.
“The damage is disastrous. No matter how you want to vent your angers over police brutality, you don’t need to destroy people’s properties.
“I was once a student; we did not take laws into our hands even when we were protesting.
“If you remember in 1983, during the time of (former Nigerian leaders) Babangida and Buhari, we were always on the streets as students, we never took laws into our hands and we never destroyed people’s property.
“During the time of Dr Tai Solarin, there were national protests, we partook in those protests but we didn’t take laws into our hands.
“It is legitimate to protest but illegitimate, to hide under the guise of protests, to destroy people’s or public properties. Besides, the law does not allow the closure of highways (for protests) because there are other road users,” he said.
Amaechi said that he believed that the acts of vandalism would not go unpunished because if the perpetrators were not punished, some others might want to repeat the crime in future.
On why it took him 32 days to inspect the level of destruction done to the NPA headquarters, the minister said that there was no difference between then and now; indicating that he had been properly briefed about the incident by the NPA management.
“I have made decisions that with the level of damage done here, NPA should be able to come forward to the cabinet to ask for funds for the reconstruction of the place,” he said.