The management of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), believes that the attack, vandalism and subsequent torching of its corporate headquarters in Marina, Apapa, by suspected hoodlums was actually an act of sabotage from within the agency.
Even though no official statement has been issued on the attack which was carried out in the wake of the #EndSARS protests that ravaged Lagos State for three days following the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Too Gate, sources say the management of NPA is already suspecting internal sabotage.
Different sources confirmed that the arsonists went from floor to floor and eventually landed in the office of the NPA’s Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, which is on the sixth floor, where they ransacked the whole office and carted away confidential files documents.
It was also confirmed that the hoodlums drove away with two Hilux Pick-Up vans, and that even though the NPA has a substantive Police Command, there was no alarm raised, no resistance and no call for assistance from security agencies while the building was under attack by the hoodlums and up to the time that it was set ablaze.
A top management staff of the agency who pleaded anonymity, raised some salient questions while talking to journalists on the vandalization of the edifice:
“Where was the Commissioner of Police, Western ports and his lieutenants? How did the hoodlums know the way to the office of the Managing Director? How did the hoodlums have access to the keys with which they drove the two vehicles away? Where are the vehicles now?”
Apart from the immediate reaction by the Chairman of the board of the NPA, Chief Akin Ricketts, there has been no official reaction from the NPA to the incident. Ricketts, in a statement, said while the youths have the rights to protest, it has become obvious that the peaceful protest was hijacked by criminal elements.
He cautioned that the destruction of a critical facility such as the NPA will affect the economic activities of the ports as Nigeria ia a largely import-dependent nation and the ports are a critical aspect of the nation’s economy.
“We strongly condemn this act of burning the Marina headquarters of the NPA. The NPA plays a critical role as a Federal Government’s parastatals in the maritime industry.
The NPA belongs to all Nigerians and as an import-dependent nation, it is the port that feeds the whole nation. If they start pulling down critical structures of this nature, where do they expect the government to get the funds to meet their demands?” Ricketts queried.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the NPA, Jatto Adam, said the agency can only issue a statement after assessing the extent of the carnage.
“It is only when we resume and have had a clear assessment of the carnage before there can be a statement. It is only after we have resumed work that we can actually see what had happened, it is after then that we can issue an official statement,” he said.