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Rattled by Terror Attacks, Buhari Convenes Security Meeting, Tells Service Chiefs to Raise their Game

todayJuly 9, 2022 1

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*Minister: Terrorists overwhelmed security agents with superior weapons at Kuje prison 

*NCoS declares fleeing inmates wanted

Deji Elumoye, Michael Olugbode and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Apparently rattled by two brazen attacks by terrorists last Tuesday at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, and also on his advance convoy in Dutsinma, Katsina State, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.

The terrorists freed hardened Boko Haram elements, alongside over 600 inmates, during the deadly attack at Kuje Correctional Centre, while two policemen were injured in the attack on the Presidency’s advance team of security guards, protocol and media officers.

The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) later claimed responsibility for the Kuje Prison attack.

Present at yesterday’s Security Council meeting held at the State House, Abuja were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Army Staff, Lt. Gen Farouk Yahaya; Air Staff, Air Marshall Isiaka Amao; Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba.

Cabinet members in attendance were the Ministers of interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Police Affairs Minister, Mohammed Dingyadi; Defense Minister, retired Major Gen. Bashir Magashi; and the Attorney-General/Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Sources said the meeting focused mainly on the failings of security men at the Kuje Correctional facility and during the attack on the presidential convoy.
“The meeting discussed how to apprehend the terrorists released, and steps to prevent future attacks. They also discussed how to disable various cells of terrorists in the North,” said another source.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi confirmed that Buhari gave clear directive to the service chiefs to ensure that what happened in Kuje did not reoccur.

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 said security agencies guarding the Kuje facility were overpowered by the terrorists.

According to him, the security personnel deployed to Kuje prison did their best to repel the attack but were subdued by the superior weaponry of the terrorists.
The Minister said: “You see, these kinds of things, they happen and I want to assure you all that those who are supposed to play a role in ensuring that the attack is neutralised did the best that they could to neutralise it.

“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 said some of the assailants were killed but their bodies taken away by the terrorists.

Asked why no arrest had been made, the Minister said: “Some of them have been killed. But I can’t give you the number and I don’t know the number. Because like they used to do, whenever one of them is killed, they take him away and you cannot know the number of people who have been killed. But definitely, quite a number of them were killed and many of them ran away with bullet wounds.”

He assured that investigation into the incident would continue: “This investigation is still going on. You will only do good to allow the investigation to continue and maybe by the time they finish, you will be able to get the details of what actually happened and why it happened.”

Asked why there had been nothing specific to report after days of the attack, Dingyadi explained that the outcome of the investigation would determine the cause, reaction and how to prevent a recurrence.

Dingyadi said: “Investigations have already commenced. Even when the President went to Kuje, he expressed his surprise as to how it happened. That is why he quickly convened this meeting.

“Mr. President has been briefed and he has assured the nation that he’s on top of the situation. Whatever is supposed to be done is going to be done and is being done to ensure that those not yet back are brought back to the Correctional Center.

Asked if there was a timeline for the investigation, the Police Minister said, “As soon as possible. You see we have raised this issue at the meeting and we know Nigerians are eager to know the actions that are going to be taken.

“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.

“We are talking about the Kuje jail break that arose as a result of the attacks on the Correctional Centre by terrorists, as well as the banditry attack that took place in Katsina around the same time, as well as the various attacks in Shiroro Local Government of Niger State.

“Mr. President was deeply concerned about these developments. And he initiated this meeting to enable security agencies, the service chiefs, Inspector General of Police to brief the council on what actually happened and the way forward.

“We had a very successful meeting and the council has agreed to take proactive measures that will ensure that repeat of what happened these few days would not be witnessed anymore.”

NCoS Declares Fleeing Inmates Wanted

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) yesterday declared the inmates that escaped from Kuje prison in Abuja wanted.
In a publication containing the wanted members of the terror group, Boko Haram, the NCoS said, “the following are faces and names of inmates with Boko Haram/terrorism cases who escaped from Kuje Correctional Centre during the jail attack on 5th July, 2022.”

The names and images of those being tried for terrorism released by the service were 69.
The NCoS in the publication called on anyone with useful information which may lead to their recapture to Call 07000099999, 09060004598 or 08075050006 or any Law Enforcement Agency nearest to you.
The NCoS assured that the information about such information would be treated with utmost sense of responsibility as anonymous.

Hamisu Wadume Escaped

Meanwhile, notorious kidnap king pin and gunrunner, Hamisu Wadume, detained in Kuje Prison, is believed to be one of the inmates that escaped from the prison after Tuesday night’s attack at Kuje prison by terrorists.

THISDAY gathered that the suspect who was in custody at Kuje prisons since 2020, was not among prisoners recaptured by the security agencies.
Wadume was arrested by the IG’s Intelligence Response (IRT) operatives in Taraba for armed robbery and gun running.
Meanwhile, two policemen were arrested after their communication with fleeing terrorists was intercepted.

“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 Couldn’t Hold Their Position Effectively

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was harsh on security men deployed to protect the Kuje Prison before Tuesday attack, describing them as men that could not hold their ground despite the amount of fortification they had.

Aregbesola, who undertook a tour of the facility yesterday, said he could not just describe what happened at the custodial facility in the open.
He said: “We have a world class facility here by any standard. I am disappointed with the level of defence, we had enough men to protect this facility but, unfortunately, they couldn’t hold their position effectively and that was the reason for 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.”

In Sallah Message, President Vows to Unravel Cause of insecurity

President Buhari has vowed not to leave any stone unturned towards getting to the cause of the recent security skirmishes in parts of the country, as well as rising cost of living among Nigerians.

In his Eid-el Kabir message to Nigerian Muslims and other citizens, the President while commenting on the current security challenges and costs of living in the country, assured Nigerians: “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 called on Nigerians to put the interest of the country above selfish interests and “use religion as a motivation for the love of our common humanity.”

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 used the occasion to call on all Muslims to reflect on the significance of the sacrifice epitomised 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.”

The President, arrived his country home, Daura, in Katsina State, for the Eid-el- Kabir, yesterday evening.

He had earlier arrived the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, Katsina, from where he was flown to the ancient town in a helicopter.
He arrived Daura few minutes to six in the evening to the warm embrace of the Emir, Alhaji Faruq Umar, and other dignitaries in the town.

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