Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, or FCT, Abuja, and its neighbouring States are in a palpable state of tension as a result of the escape of over 800 prisoners from Kuje prison, the nation’s top correctional facility.
According to DAILY POST, dozens of terrorists believed to be Boko Haram militants stormed the facility on Tuesday night with explosives and other lethal weapons before releasing all of their comrades and other criminals.
Stakeholders have continued to respond to the occurrence and have voiced amazement at the severity of the security issue in the nation.
While some Nigerians blame the tragedy on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s inability to address the security threat plaguing the country, others think it was planned by dishonest citizens hoping to undermine Buhari’s rule.
Bashir Magashi, the minister of defence, responded to the terrible situation by unequivocally stating that none of the Boko Haram suspects held in the facility were discovered following the attack.
According to a source from the Nigerian Prison Service who talked to our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, some previously convicted Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are among the fugitive prisoners.
She claimed that some of the escaped prisoners were terrorist commanders who had been apprehended and tried by the Nigerian Army.
According to report, the development takes place while the FCT deals with its worst security scenario ever.
There have been series of kidnapping, murder, ritual killings and other criminal activities in the territory in the past few months.
A civil servant residing in Kuje Area Council, Mr James Adoga told DAILY POST on Wednesday that the area had been enveloped with tension over fear of possible attacks by the escaped terrorists.
He said, “We all lost our sleep on Tuesday night when the bandits attacked the prison. We started hearing gunshots from 10pm and it continued until they executed all their plans.
“Some people are already relocating from this area. We have been facing insecurity for a very long time before this one happened yesterday.
“As it is now, more than 800 criminals, including Boko Haram terrorists are staying around this place, living with us in Abuja here. You can imagine that. We are in trouble.”
A source from the FCT police command told our correspondent that the incident had also raised a big concern in the command.
According to him, top officers in the command had serious meeting on Wednesday to arrive on how the command could strategize in combating the already deteriorating security crisis in the territory.
“As we speak, there is tension everywhere even within the command because officers are always the first target of attacks. Some of us left the North to come here because we thought Abuja would be peaceful, but I think we were wrong.
“We all need to be security conscious especially in this Abuja, but no matter what they do, we are ready for them”, he added.
Similarly, a Christian cleric in Bwari Area Council, Pastor Adakpe Ujah expressed fear that churches in Abuja may be the next target of the terrorists.
He called on the Federal Government and the FCT administration to as a matter of urgency, beef-up security in all worship centers before Sunday, July 10.
“Those who escaped from the prison, where are they? I think they are still within the city. The Federal Government needs to be proactive this time. We all know their agenda, churches may be their next target.
“We don’t need to wait until it happens then we start crying blood. The government should beef-up security in all churches at least before coming Sunday. We are in trouble but God will definitely see us through,” he said.
When contacted for comments from the FCT Police command, the Commissioner of Police Babaji Sunday referred our correspondent to the Public Relations Officer, DSP Josephine Adeh who could not take her calls or respond to text messages forwarded to her.