Ubuku Nyah, Mandate Secretary, Transport Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, said seven scavengers were arrested for alleged vandalisation of the Abuja Light Rail infrastructure.
He disclosed this when he visited the various sections of the vandalised rail track at Kukwaba in Abuja on Thursday.
The Secretary vowed to prosecute the suspected vandals who were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday by SEGAD Security, one of the security outfits contracted to secure the rail facilities.
He added that the suspects, who were arrested while digging the rail track to remove armoured cables, specialised in vandalising perimeter fences, communication cables and rail track cables.
Nyah wondered why the residents, who the government expended so huge funds to provide social infrastructure to ameliorate their living conditions, would vandalise such facilities.
According to him, such acts of sabotage from the citizens whom the government is working for are highly condemnable.
He said the secretariat would work with appropriate authorities to institute legal action against the suspects to serve as a deterrent to others.
He said: “Over the past few days, the FCT Minister has been emphasising the importance of efficient transportation, particularly rail transportation.
“This is in line with the vision and renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu in providing cheap and safe transportation for our people.
“The anchor of this is rail transportation, which can move the people massively from one place to another, which the government had invested heavily in the rail infrastructure.”
The Secretary explained that the secretariat received a report on the spate of vandalisation of protective fences, tracks and communication cables of the rail system.
Nyah added that the visit was to see for himself what has been happening and described the development as “very sad and condemnable”, amazed that the people the government was working for were doing this.
He said the obnoxious development would incur additional costs for the government and delay the delivery of the projects earlier planned within the year.
Nyah said: “When we came here we saw that even the cables and the protective fences had been vandalised by our people.”
The General Supervisor, SEGAD Security, Japhet MaiKeffi, said he and his men arrested the suspects while on a routine patrol around 2:30am on Wednesday.
MaiKeffi said that they sighted the suspects digging the rail tracks to remove armoured cables, adding that of the seven suspects arrested so far, two have been handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution.
One of the suspects, Salisu Ibrahim, acknowledged, while responding to questions from newsmen, that they stole the cables and other facilities and sold them to unidentified buyers.