The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Bayelsa Command said that two people were arrested during attempted vandalism of a telecommunications facility in Yenagoa during the yuletide.
Mrs Christiana Abiakam-Omanu, Bayelsa Commandant of the NSCDC made the disclosure on Friday in Yenagoa.
The commandant said that the successful operation was as a result of the command’s commitment to lives and property in the state.
Abiakam-Omanu said that the NSCDC had a strategic plan to ensure a crime-free Christmas and New Year celebration by deploying its officers and men across the state.
“The frequent patrols embarked upon by the security agencies during the festive season yielded results when the operatives of the NSCDC got wind of ongoing vandalism and foiled it while the vandals engaged the patrol team in a gun duel,” she said.
The commandant said that two of the vandals were arrested while two who fled the crime scene were being traced.
“There was vandalism of critical installation. This time, it is a communication mast belonging to MTN located at Saptext Road, Yenizue/Epie, Yenagoa LGA.
“This incident happened on Dec. 29, 2019, at about 12 a.m., probably they thought that the security agents have lost sight of their responsibilities due to the festivities but they got it wrong.
“Based on credible intelligence and sustained surveillance, two suspects were arrested after an exchange of gunfire.
“Items recovered from them include12 heavy duty deep cycle inverter batteries, loaded in Lexus jeep with registration number BRS 998 AO,” she said.
Abiakam-Omanu appealed to the general public not to relent in giving the security agencies useful information that could help them in their operations.
“I want to assure them that their identities will remain confidential.
“At the same time, I want to call on the hoodlums to turn a new leaf and engage in legitimate means of livelihood or face the consequences of their actions,” the commandant said.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Stanley Mokwunye, an MTN Site Engineer commended NSCDC for foiling the vandalism and the arrest of some the criminals.
He said that the company had suffered several incidents of vandalism of its installations in the past.
“The intervention of the NSCDC is very commendable, we are very pleased because out of the 16 heavy duty batteries missing, 12 were recovered during the operation and the suspects were caught in the act.
“In the past incidents, we lost various components of our equipment.
“Frequent vandalism of our equipment is one of our greatest challenges in Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states and it is affecting our operations and adversely adding to the cost of operation compared to other places,” Mokwunye said.