BY VICTORIA IKEANO
Nasarawa state government’s reaction to arrest of one of its top officials over vandalization of rail tracks/slippers has been met with disappointment, an aggregation of residents’ views by this correspondent has shown. The government’s reaction by the state’s Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Dogo Shammah fell short of suspending the official which majority of the citizens had clamoured for when the news broke.
Recall that the state’s Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe recently paraded before journalists, several people arrested for vandalization of rail tracks that traverse the state. Among them were the special adviser on infrastructure to Governor Abdullahi Sule, Yusuf Abubakar Musa also known as Yusuf Mada. Others included security agents, the Chinese manager of a steel company based in Abuja, its legal adviser, owners of the articulated vehicle(trailer) used for carting the vandalized items.
Police Commissioner Longe said that preliminary investigation so far, “revealed that it is a grand conspiracy involving high net worth individuals who act as sponsors and drivers of various syndicates which specialize in vandalizing Nigerian railway tracks/slippers in different parts of Nasarawa state, notably, Gudi-Lafia-Akeleku-Makurdi”, adding, “it is a classic case of sabotage being perpetrated by unpatriotic Nigerians”.
In its reaction, the Nasarawa state government through its Information Commissioner, Dogo Shammah said, “The attention of the Government has been drawn to the embarrassing report of the arrest of Alhaji Yusuf Abubakar Mada, popularly called Yusuf Mada who before his arrest by the police was the Special Adviser to the Governor on Infrastructure.
“His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdullahi A. Sule and indeed the State Government is highly embarrassed by this shameful and condemnable act by the Special Adviser.
“The State Government strongly condemns the criminal act by the Special Adviser. This is no doubt economic sabotage against the government
“The Sate Government is therefore calling on the police to investigate the matter thoroughly and bring all those involved in the despicable act to face the wrath of the law to serve as deterrent to any other persons that may wish to engage in such heinous act in future”.
A cross section of the people however, called for the suspension or outright sack of the special adviser. Former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in the state, Yusuf Shehu Usman, remarked, “To save the good public image of his administration, the governor should suspend the arrested SA on infrastructure, pending further investigation and possible prosecution”
Mohammed Shaffa, a pharmacist, said, “We urgently need a new SA on Infrastructure. The reputation and integrity of the current one has been fractured and no longer fits the structure. The government needs a clean, untainted one”.
A minority of views opined that the SA has not been found guilty of the crime by a competent law court.