By Osa Amadi, Arts Editor
The Director General of National Council for Art and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, has linked his current travails to his patriotic desire to protect and defend government property owned by the National Council for Arts and Culture.
He disclosed that the property, the Art and Craft village (Opposite Abuja Sheraton) valued at 9.8 billion is the reason some people wanted him hounded into jail and removed from office because he refused to dance to their tunes.
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 a security threat, not only to Abuja residents but also 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 need for police 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,” Otunba Runsewe explained.
He said it is therefore imperative to clear the 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.
He thanked all those who have shown interest about his welfare through phone calls, messages and visits, saying his life is in the hand of God and that he will do his best within the ambit of the law to secure and protect the country’s cultural assets including those outside the shores of Nigeria.