President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council after two blatant terrorist attacks last Tuesday at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja and on his advance convoy in Dutsinma, Katsina State, it appears.
During the horrific raid at Kuje Correctional Centre, the terrorists released tough Boko Haram members together with over 600 prisoners; two policemen were hurt in the attack on the Presidency’s advance squad of security guards, protocol officers, and media personnel.
Later on, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) took credit for the attack on Kuje Prison.
General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, the Army Staff, Air Marshall Isiaka Amao, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, and Usman Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, were all present in yesterday’s Security Council meeting at the State House in Abuja.
Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola, Police Affairs Minister Mohammed Dingyadi, Defense Minister retired Major General Bashir Magashi, and Attorney-General/Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami were among the cabinet members present.
According to sources, the meeting’s main topic was the security personnel’s shortcomings at the Kuje Correctional facility and during the attack on the presidential convoy.
“At the conference, it was addressed how to catch the terrorists who had been let out and how to stop further assaults. Another source stated that they also talked about ways to break up different terrorist networks in the North.
After the discussion, Buhari gave the service chiefs an explicit order to guarantee that what happened in Kuje did not happen again, according to Mohammed Dingyadi, Minister of Police Affairs.
Dingyadi said: “The service chiefs have been given very clear directives to ensure that adequate measures are taken not only to investigate what happened, but also to take steps to forestall the recurrence of such incidences.”
The minister claimed that the security forces manning the Kuje facility had been beaten back by the militants.
He claimed that despite their best efforts, the security guards stationed at Kuje jail were defeated by the terrorists’ more potent arsenal.
“You see, these types of things do occur, and I want to reassure you all that those who are meant to have a role in ensuring that the attack is neutralised did the best they could to neutralise it,” the minister stated.
“I think what helped them was the number of people they came with and the superior weapons they came with.
“And because nobody anticipated it, the few people could not withstand the number that they came with. I think that’s what happened.”
Dingyadi claimed that although several of the attackers were killed, the terrorists took their corpses.
The Minister responded, “Some of them have been slain, which is why no arrests have been made. However, I am unable to provide you with the number and I am unsure of it. Since they no longer take one of them away when one of them dies, it is impossible to determine how many people have been slain. However, a significant number of them were undoubtedly killed, and a large number of them fled while still being shot.
“This investigation is still going on,” he assured, adding that the event would be further investigated. Allowing the inquiry to continue will only be beneficial, and perhaps by the time it is over, you will be able to learn more about what actually transpired and why.
When asked why there hadn’t been any particular information to report days after the attack, Dingyadi replied that the results of the inquiry would reveal the reason, the response, and how to avoid a repeat.
Investigations have already started, according to Dingyadi. Even after visiting Kuje, the President acknowledged his surprise at what had happened. That’s why he called this meeting right away. The nation has been reassured that Mr. President is in control of the issue after receiving a briefing. To ensure that those who haven’t yet returned are taken to the Correctional Center, all that needs to be done will be done and is already being done.
When asked if the probe had a timetable, the Police Minister responded, “As soon as feasible. You see, we brought up this subject at the meeting, and we are aware that Nigerians are interested in learning what steps will be made.
“But you see, some of these things are security issues. We do not need to give out the details of what we are going to do. But we will just assure Nigerians that we’re on top of the situation. And we will be doing the needful.”
He said: “Mr. President had directed that we hold today’s Security Council meeting to review the situation of security in the country, particularly as it relates to insecurity issues that have happened in the last few weeks.
NCoS declares evading prisoners to be wanted
The detainees who escaped from Kuje jail in Abuja have been proclaimed sought by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) as of yesterday.
The NCoS stated, “the following are faces and names of detainees with Boko Haram/terrorism cases who escaped from Kuje Correctional Center during the jail attack on July 5, 2022,” in a publication listing the terrorist organization’s sought members.
The service published 69 people’s identities and pictures who were defendants in terrorism trials.
In the publication, the NCoS requested that anybody with information that could help in their apprehension phone the local law enforcement agency closest to them at 0807505006, 09060004598, or 07000099999.
The NCoS guaranteed that the information will be handled with the utmost responsibility and kept confidential.
Hamisu Wadume Eluded Capture
Hamisu Wadume, a known kidnapping boss and gunrunner who is currently being held at Kuje Jail, is thought to be one of the prisoners who escaped from the facility during the terrorist attack on the prison on Tuesday night.
According to information obtained by THISDAY, the suspect, who has been detained at Kuje prisons since 2020, was not among the inmates who were apprehended by security forces.
The IG’s Intelligence Response (IRT) agents detained Wadume in Taraba for armed robbery and gun running.
In the meantime, two police officers were detained when their conversations with escaping terrorists were overheard.
“Two of the terrorists that escaped called two police investigation officers in one of our stations and spoke to him in a compromising manner.
“They are now being investigated to ascertain their level of complicity”, a police source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
Aregbesola: Our men failed to effectively maintain their position.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the interior minister, was critical of the security guards who had been assigned to guard the Kuje Prison before the attack on Tuesday, calling them ineffective despite their extensive fortification.
Aregbesola, who visited the facility yesterday, claimed he was unable to simply recount what took place at the detention centre in public.
By every measure, this place is a world-class facility, he declared. I am unhappy with the quality of the defence; we had enough soldiers to guard this facility, but sadly, they were unable to maintain their positions securely, which led to the breach.
“Now my position is so clear, I have declared since April last year that all our facilities are red zones and that whoever attempt an attack must not live to tell the story. I still maintain this.
“Kuje is the most fortified in the country if fortification for security is the determinant of whether it is medium or maximum. It is medium by size but maximum by the security there. We have a platoon of security officers deployed here. We have the high grade of military and police and other security forces deployment for protection but strangely something happened most of which I cannot say on camera.”
President promises to identify the source of insecurity in Sallah message
President Buhari has committed to do everything in his power to find out what is causing the recent security clashes in some areas of the nation as well as the rising cost of living for Nigerians.
In his Eid-el-Kabir speech to Nigerian Muslims and other residents, the President gave the following assurances while discussing the nation’s present security issues and expense of living: “I won’t rest until I bring relief to Nigerians. I am quite aware of the difficulties people are facing and working to resolve them.”
President Buhari expressed hope that this Eid will be a source of blessing, peace, prosperity and safety for all Nigerians, stressing that coexistence and stability would prevail in the country.
The President urged Nigerians to “use religion as a motivation for the love of our common humanity” and to put the country’s interests ahead of their own.
He said: “if we are putting the teachings of our religions into practice, most of the evils afflicting our society would have been solved.”
According to the President, “religion shouldn’t just be used as a mere badge of identity, but as a motivator for doing good for our country and humanity.
“The exploitation of the people by traders and the stealing of public funds by civil servants and other holders of public trust is a reflection of the abandonment of the teachings of our religions.
“Our society is a bundle of contradictions. People display external religiosity without fear of God; they make life difficult for others; money becomes their god; leaders abandon their oaths of office by taking money meant for the welfare of the people and divert it to their private pockets.”
He took use of the opportunity to encourage all Muslims to consider the importance of the sacrifice embodied by Eid.
Buhari said: “We should show love and care to our neighbours and others while celebrating this spiritually important event in our lives.”
President Buhari also advised Muslims “to promote the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practice,” adding that “Muslims should avoid association with violent extremist ideas that have wrongly given Islam a negative image or poor perception.”
For the Eid-el-Kabir, the President arrived at his rural residence in Daura, Katsina State, yesterday evening.
He had previously arrived at Katsina’s Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, from whence he had taken a helicopter to the historic town.
The Emir, Alhaji Faruq Umar, and other dignitaries in the town greeted him warmly as he arrived in Daura shortly before six in the evening.