NSCDC declares battle against manhole cover thieves, vandals in FCT

THE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Tuesday, August 15, declared battle against manhole cover thieves and vandals in the city.

Olusola Odumosu, the newly posted Commandant of the FCT Command, made the declaration on Tuesday in Abuja while taking over from Peter Maigari.

Speaking to the command’s staff, Odumosu orders vandals and those stealing manhole covers to leave or face the repercussions of their behaviour.

He also warned staff against arrogant behaviours in their interactions with law-abiding civilians.

“I have declared war on vandals, economic saboteurs, criminals, manhole thieves, the vandals of street and traffic lights, communication and electrical installations. 

“These are all critical assets that contribute to the daily existence of Nigerians, and NSCDC has been at the forefront as the lead agency in this regard; I will ensure that these criminals are put where they belong,” Odumosu stated.

He said he has mapped out strategies, including deploying more men and increasing day and night patrols.

Odumosu additionally pledged to start using visibility policing as a strategy.

“What gave them the room to operate before was the fact that they didn’t see much security presence in a number of places with such facilities. So, we are going to improve on that. 

“It is serious business. These criminals cannot be subjecting government to unnecessary expenditures as a result of their unwholesome activities,” he added.

Odumosu said he will take an audit of all the manholes in Abuja and also focus more on areas like Gwarinpa in a bit to rid the area of vandals.

Odumosu tasked the personnel to remain loyal to the country and the corps.

The ICIR, in a detailed report in May 2022, disclosed that manholes and gully pots are supposed to be an advantage to any urban city. However, in Abuja, they are often a dangerous spot waiting to happen.

The report highlighted how a welder and resident of Abuja, Oluwatosin Adekunle, woke up one Saturday morning anticipating watching his favourite football club play; he never got to watch it as he ended up at the hospital. 

Adekunle, while alighting from a vehicle, fell inside an uncovered manhole around AYA. 

In addition, Juliana Panshak, a visitor to Abuja, narrated her experience on her first visit to Abuja. 

Like Adekunle, her leg fell into an uncovered manhole around Jabi garage when she was alighting from a vehicle, and

she nursed the injury throughout her stay in Abuja. 

In doing the report, The ICIR gathered that some manholes require a ladder to climb into them; this makes them dangerous when left open. 






     

     

    It was also observed that many manhole covers in the city have been removed or stolen.

    The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) blamed scavengers and vandals for the constant stealing and vandalisation of the manhole covers in the FCT.

    The Director of Infrastructure and Facilities in the FCTA, Omoniyi Olaloye, told The ICIR that over 600 manholes were without covers in Abuja.

    In her reaction, Josephine Adeh, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), FCT Command, told The ICIR that they arrested several perpetrators who stole and vandalised manhole covers.

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