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Expose Criminals Threatening Nation’s Security, Buhari Charges Nigerians

todayJuly 10, 2022 1

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•Terrorists release seven of 50 remaining train passengers

•Kuje attack: Police rearrest fleeing Boko Haram suspect in Nasarawa

•NSCDC alerts on planned attacks on schools, churches, others

• In new measures, Irabor meets heads of security agencies daily

Deji Elumoye, Kingsley Nwezeh, Kuni Tyesi in Abuja, John Shiklam in Kaduna and Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday charged Nigerians to expose the criminal elements threatening the nation’s security.

Speaking after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers at his country home in Daura, Katsina State, Buhari said increased disclosure of unusual activities would expose bandits and terrorists, nudging the security apparatus to eliminate threats across the country.

The president’s charge came as seven of the 50 remaining abducted victims of the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack yesterday regained their freedom after 102 days in captivity.

Also, the Nasarawa State Police Command yesterday said it had recaptured one of the fleeing Boko Haram suspects, Hassan Hassan, who was among the inmates that escaped from the Kuje Maximum Custodial Centre in Abuja, just as the federal government said it has tightened security around the Kuje Correctional facility and other parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Meanwhile, following the attack on the Kuje Correctional facility, the meetings of security forces headed by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, have been brought forward to hold daily from its previous weekly arrangement.

President Buhari said all those that had unleashed mayhem on innocent citizens should reflect on their atrocities, stressing that they soiled their names and their family reputation.

His words: “My advice is that people that are organising themselves and attacking institutions and communities; the people know them. So, let them report them to the security agencies. 

“I hope they will sit and reflect and make sure they save their names and their families,” Buhari said.

During this year’s rainy season, the president said: “We are praying that the rainy season will be good for the production of the food we eat in the country.

He stated that following the closure of the borders for about two years, Nigeria is now exporting rice.

The president also advised Nigerian youths to look beyond culture, ethnicity and religion in relating with one another, urging more travels, mingling, tolerance and negotiations to appreciate the rich diversity of the country. 

Buhari, who received members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Daura, said regular interface and a broader vision of Nigeria as a whole would improve relationships, especially among the youths.

 “Every time I meet former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, I always thank him for the NYSC, which helps people to move all over Nigeria. 

“Before the NYSC there were people who had never moved out of their locality,” he said.

The president said the scheme broadened the horizon for many over the years and reduced the tensions and misunderstandings that exist between strangers. 

 The president said the Youths and all Nigerians must learn to live together with one another. 

He later donated two bulls, 10 rams and the sum of N1,000,000  to the corps members for the Sallah celebration.

Terrorists Release Seven of 50 Remaining Train Passengers

Meanwhile, seven of the 50 remaining abducted victims of the March 28 Abuja- Kaduna train attack have been freed after 102 days in captivity.
The seven victims, including the son of the Chairman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, were released yesterday following negotiations by Tukur Mamu, a media consultant to an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.
The terrorists had on June 11, released 11 of their victims following negotiations by Mamu.
The report listed those released as Bosede Olurotimi, Abubakar Zubairu, Alhassan Sule, Sadiq Ango Abdullahi, Muhammad Daiyabu Paki, Aliyu Usman and a foreign national of Pakistani origin, Dr Muhammad Abuzar Afzal.
Those released were handed over to the military to be reunited with their families.
The report also quoted Mamu as saying that no ransom was paid for the release of the seven victims.
Mamu was further quoted, as saying that the release of seven of the victims has vindicated Sheikh Gumi on the power of mediation.
“I want to assure the nation that everything that was achieved today was singlehandedly initiated and arranged by me with the full support and prayers of my principal, Sheikh Gumi.
“That is why I keep emphasising that government has the power to end the agony of these innocent victims in one day.
Speaking on ARISE NEWS Channel last night, Tukur said Gumi has been working behind the scenes to bring peace to the country. He, however, stated that his efforts to meet with President Buhari were being frustrated.

“This is just one individual that sacrifices his life and even integrity.
“There is no military solution to the current security debacle in Nigeria. When you sincerely engage them, these guys even though wicked with misguided religious beliefs, are listening,” he explained.
The coordinator of families of the abducted passengers of the Abuja- Kaduna train attack, Mr Abdulfatai Jimoh, confirmed the release of the seven victims.

Police Rearrest Fleeing Boko Haram Suspect in Nasarawa

In another development, the Nasarawa State Police Command has recaptured one of the fleeing Boko Haram suspects, Hassan Hassan, who escaped from the Kuje Maximum Custodial Centre.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Nasarawa State command, DSP Ramhan Nansel, disclosed this in a statement.

He added that the fleeing Boko Haram suspect was recaptured by the eagle-eyed operatives of the state Police Command at Keffi, headquarters of Keffi Local Government Area of the state.

Nansel said: “Sequel to the attack on Kuje Maximum Custodial Centre and subsequent escape of inmates, on July 9th, 2022 at about 0130hrs, one Hassan Hassan ‘M’ whose name and picture was amongst the escaped inmates with Boko Haram/Terrorism case was recaptured by the eagle-eyed Police operatives of the Nasarawa State Police Command at Keffi.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Adesina Soyemi has ordered for the transfer of the suspect to a safer location while the intensive search for other escapees and handing over process of the arrested inmate progresses.”

NSCDC Alerts on Planned Attacks on Schools, Churches, Others

In another fresh development, plans by members of the ISWAP terrorist group to launch coordinated and spontaneous attacks on soft and hard targets in the FCT have been uncovered by the FCT Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The NSCDC FCT Commandant, Mr Peter Maigari, who issued the Red Alert in a restricted memo dated Friday, July 8, 2022, said: “Certified intelligence reveals that members of the decimated terrorist group, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have concluded plan to launch more coordinated and spontaneous attacks on selected targets within the FCT and have declared war against Christians in Nigeria.”

A copy of the Red Alert addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) further said: “Intelligence abounds that ISWAP terrorist group has claimed responsibilities of the Tuesday, July 5, 2022 attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, releasing their adherent members.

“The foregoing is to enable them to hibernate in targeted communities and re-strategise for further terrorist activities, especially on soft targets to keep the agenda of the group alive to the public.”

The leaked memo further warned that taking into consideration the recent attack on Kuje Prison in Abuja, which lasted for a “good two – hours without any security resistance indicates their readiness to carry out more coordinated attacks in selected cities/towns, security formations, schools and worship centres in FCT, hence the release of their members for a more formidable squad to carry out the dastardly act.”

Maigari, therefore, called for a review of the existing security measures in the nation’s capital to frustrate the terrorists’ plans.

 When contacted to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of the alert, the spokesman, National Headquarters of NSCDC, Mr Shola Odumosu, said the alert emanated from the FCT Command of the agency and not the headquarters.

He promised to get in touch with the command and get back to THISDAY but he was unable to do that at press time. The spokesperson of the FCT Command of the corps, Comfort Okomanyi, could not be reached.

FG Vows to Track down all Escapees, Tightens Security in Abuja

Meanwhile, following the terrorist attack on Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, the federal government has tightened security around the facility and other parts of the FCT.

The Controller-General of the Nigeria Correctional Services (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, said the service would spare no effort or resources in hunting down all the escapees from the Kuje facility.

THISDAY gathered that new security arrangements were emplaced to prevent a repeat occurrence.

As part of the new security measures, the meetings of security forces headed by the CDS, Gen. Irabor, have been brought forward to hold daily from its previous weekly arrangement.

The investigation also revealed that new security checkpoints were mounted at the entry and exit points of the Kuje Area council while similar deployments encircled the prison facility and the area council.

Nababa said the integrated strategies of the security agencies were yielding favourable results.

The NCoS also said there was no case of missing monies in both local and foreign currencies belonging to inmates in the centre after the ill-fated attack on the facility.

The incessant attacks on FCT suburbs and the recent one on the Kuje facility had also heightened tension among residents in the nation’s capital, forcing those in the city centre to commence construction of new fences around their residential houses.

THISDAY gathered that the Brigade of Guards, responsible for the security of the president and his family, also reinforced troop deployments at the entry and exit points of the city, notably, the Nyanya-Karu and Maraba-Keffi axis and Gwagwalada-Zuba and Kubwa on the northern flank of the territory.

 The FCT Police Command in a statement issued Friday night said it had put in place water-tight security around Abuja.

According to the statement, “The CP (Babaji Sunday) further noted that in pursuance of the common resolve to beef-up security, the command would intensify robust stop and search operations, high-level visibility policing patrols and surveillance of places of worship, parks, recreational centres and residential areas, and prompt response to any distress calls from across the FCT.” 

Given the security situation in Abuja, the command also warned Muslim worshippers not to park their vehicles 200 metres close to the praying grounds.

“Worshippers are therefore advised to pray inside and avoid praying on the expressway to ensure orderliness and proper traffic management.

“At all other praying grounds within the FCT, no vehicle will be permitted to park 200 metres close to the praying grounds. Worshippers and residents are therefore advised to cooperate with police officers deployed strictly for enforcement,” the statement added.

In a related development, the NCoS said there was no case of missing monies in both local and foreign currencies belonging to inmates in the centre after the ill-fated attack on the facility.

Public Relations Officer of the service, Umar Danlami Abubakar, in a statement, affirmed that the cash belonging to inmates deposited in the custody of the authorities of the custodial centre is intact and safe.

He reiterated that there was an existing instruction from the Controller General of Corrections, Nadaba, that all officers superintending custodial centres must not keep huge sums in the facility. 

How Ex-Boko Haram Fighter Emerged as Prison Official

In a related development, fresh facts have, however, emerged on how an ex-Boko Haram fighter became an official of NCoS.

It was gathered that on February 18 this year, an alarm was raised at a correctional centre in Adamawa State.

A former Boko Haram fighter, Wilberforce Yohanna, was recruited as a staff of the Yola New Custodial Centre in the state.

Leaked internal documents on the security situation at the prison facility according to the report showed that Mr Yohanna’s Boko Haram background was detected following the dexterity he displayed with gun handling during training.

“While on training, he was found to be more versatile in the use and operations of firearms,” the leaked files obtained by Premium Times, revealed.

 “Upon further interrogation and collaborative findings, he confessed to having been abducted and held hostage by members of Boko Haram for two years.”

The new prison official also confessed to having received training in heavy weapon handling from a Boko Haram base before he escaped their custody, according to the documents.

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