Transport Minister Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has demanded the prosecution of all persons who destroyed and vandalized assets belonging to the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) on October 21 during the civil unrests that engulfed the city of Lagos as protests against police brutality were hijacked by rampaging hoodlums who laid waste to public infrastructure.
Mr Amaechi, a former two-term governor of the oil-rich southern state of Rivers said that the incidents were “disastrous”.
The minister spoke during a tour of the NPA headquarters where he stressed that the perpetrators of the act should be punished.
“The damage is disastrous. No matter how you want to vent your anger over police brutality, you don’t need to destroy people’s property.
“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 military leaders Ibrahim Babagida and Muhammadu 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 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 and illegitimate to hide under the guise of protests to destroy people’s public properties. The law does not allow closure of highways because there are other road users,” he said.