NRC cautions youths against vandalism
Youths of host communities where railway stations are situated have been warned to desist from vandalising and stealing railway properties in their areas as the corporation was prepared to deal decisively with such deviants.
The District Manager of the corporation in the East, Mr. Ola Adeeyinwo, gave the warning in Umuahia on the heels of media report that the Railway Divisional Police officer Umuahia and his men were under police arrest for illegal carting away of railway materials, describing the report as total falsehood.
“The true position is that Amuda Eluama Village in Uzuakoli has for many years now posed a serious threat to the development of the NRC as incidences of railway track material’s vandalism have been on the increase in that axis.
“The Railway management in the district, in collaboration with the Area Commander had given a matching order to the RDPO Umuahia, who is a very dedicated fine Officer with a proven track record of integrity, to fish out the hoodlums perpetrating this nefarious act,” said Adeeyinwo.
Investigations in Umuahia revealed that between December 2017 and February 2018, four cases of vandalism and theft of railway materials had been recorded in the area.
However as a measure to end the ugly trend, the management of the Eastern NRC District in Enugu authorized the Umuahia Railway Divisional Police Officer, Richard Omeri, to urgently embark on the evacuation of the materials in the Ebonyi/Abia axis.
It was further gathered that on Friday, February 9, 2018, Omeri and his men, went to evacuate railway materials at Uzuakoli, where constant vandalism and theft of railway materials had been taking place.
However, the DPO and his men and the hired hands were ironically “arrested” by the youths of Amuda Eluama village in Uzuakoli in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State on the suspicion that they were vandals.
A source at the Umuahia Railway Police Station narrated that they had gone to Amuda Eluama village to evacuate the railway materials because they had intelligence reports that vandals were planning to cart the materials away over the weekend.
The source said that while they were returning with the materials in a lorry, a group of youths claiming membership of a vigilance group in the area accosted them and demanded for gratification before they would allow the men to go with the materials.
“We explained to them that we were Policemen attached to the Umuahia Railway Police Station and that we were on official duty. They even could not believe our DPO, claiming that he was too young to be a DPO. We told them we had nothing to give them; that they should take us to Uzuakoli Police Station to ascertain the veracity of our claims.
“When they saw that we were not ready to do their bidding, they started mobilizing their youths who were poised to lynch us. They tried all tricks aimed at intimidating and cajoling us to submission but we resisted them and they resorted to attacking us,” the source said.
When contacted, the Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said that he only read about the reported arrest of the DPO by the youths in the media, adding that nobody has briefed him on the issue.