By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Director General, Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Runsewe, has insisted that properties belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria must be protected.
Runsewe made this known during a world press conference, to clarify his purported sentence to prison in Abuja.
He stated that his current travails were linked to his patriotic desire to protect and defend government property owned by NCAC.
He said: “The property, ‘the Art and Craft Village opposite Abuja Sheraton valued at N9.8 billion is the reason behind why some people wanted me to be jailed and removed from office because I refused to dance to their tune.
Giving more insight on he issues, Runsewe further revealed that “government property was turned into a drug den, a hold bay and rented house for hooligans and criminals, a depot for illegal arms and sundry criminal activities, which turned the place to security threat not only to Abuja residents but to foreigners who engage in early hours exercises through the street in the morning and were molested by criminals from this location.”
“So I wonder why , some people are bent on converting government property to a haven of inappropriate engagement, hence, the police has to close down the place.
“The Art and Craft village belongs to the Federal Republic Of Nigeria , It does not belong to me but to the Nigerian people , so I would be failing in my duties as a public officer and appointee of government, if I cannot protect government property to which I was mandated to oversee. “he explained
He said the cultural village will also provide over 300 jobs to Nigeria and reduce crime rate.
Runsewe therefore noted that it is imperative to clear air on this issue to help stem the tide of negative reactions and to reassure Nigerians that all hands must be on deck to protect the interest of any property that belongs to Nigeria and ensure that they are not misapplied or abused.
“We are focused and nothing will distract us from championing the good course for all Nigerians and the protect and fight for the future of children.”
He thanked all those who have shown interest about his welfare through phone calls, messages and visits adding that his life is in the hand of God and that he will do his best within the ambits of law to secure and protect Nigerian cultural assets including those outside the shores of Nigeria .