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We are not bowed by arson on NPA Headquarters—NPA MD



—- as hoodlums  destroy 60 vehicles, aimed to ground operations.

Abiola Seun   |

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman,has declared that the staff and management of the agency will not be bowed by the act of arson unleashed on the Headquarters of the agency during the #EndSars protests.

Conducting a select group of journalists round the areas that were torched by the rampaging urchins, Ms Usman yesterday  disclosed that  60 vehicles were destroyed by the hoodlums that attacked the headquarters of the authority.

She said the hoodlums who also gained access into her office ,were bent on grounding port operations by attacking Tin-Can, Apapa and Calabar seaports.

She however stated that the Nigerian military successfully dispersed the hoodlums and reclaimed possession of the premises as well as secured other port facilities around the country.

According to her,  the hoodlums had earlier threatened to invade and burn down the Tin-Can Island and Apapa port before they were repelled by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and Mobile police officers.

She said, “NPA regrets the attack on its 26/28 Marina Road, Lagos, corporate headquarters and the Tincan Island Port by unknown persons on Wednesday October 21st and Tuesday October 20th, 2020 respectively.

“The attack on the Tincan Island Port commenced at 9:45am on Tuesday October 20th 2020. The hoodlums made an attempt to forcefully gain access into the port, attacked the administrative building and set ablaze a truck which was evacuating cargo. It took the combined efforts of officers of the port authority police, the police mobile force and the Nigerian Customs Service to repel the attack.

“The attackers at the headquarters numbering over 300 persons, gained access into the premises at 8:42am on Wednesday October 21st 2020 from the outer Broad Street wing brandishing daggers, sticks and cutlasses.

“After attacking, disarming and chasing the security personnel on duty out of the headquarters premises, the attackers proceeded to burn and vandalise several vehicles belonging to the Authority and some members of staff. They thereafter set a wing of the office building on fire.

“Upon knowledge of the attack, officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces were invited and deployed to the premises. They successfully dispersed the hoodlums and reclaimed possession of the premises following which the Authority’s firemen were able to gain access into the building and put out the raging fire.”

Usman also stated that several devices such as computer, water dispensers and other electronic devices, were carted away.

After an assessment of the extent of damage, it was discovered that apart from the annex wing that was burnt, many offices were vandalised, while computers, printers, water dispensers and other electronic devices were looted.

“A total of twenty-seven (27) vehicles, including cars, utility vehicles, pick up vans and staff buses were set on fire, while thirty-three (33) other vehicles, twenty-two of which belong to members of staff were vandalised. A Toyota Prado SUV, a Bajaj Motorcycle and one Hilux patrol van were also stolen from the premises.”

“All assets of the Authority are comprehensively insured, and insurers are currently undergoing an assessment of the damages.”

“The management of the Authority is particularly grateful that no life was lost in this sad incident. This is in spite of the fact that some members of staff who were on critical duties were in the building at the time of the attack.”

“The Authority recognises the gallantry of men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and our firemen whose intervention restored normalcy. We also appreciate the concerns of all stakeholders and citizens who have reached out with kind words of support and encouragement.”

All stakeholders and the general public are hereby assured that the situation has not affected operations of the authority in anyway as we have continued to render our services unhindered.”

© 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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