It’s time to wipe the slate clean of Nigeria’s security architecture
Previously, Abuja, the seat of the country’s government, was considered the safest and most secure place where people ran for protection when other parts of the country were attacked.
But that is all history now, given recent events in the city such as the prison break in Kuje, the terrorist attack on guards squad men in Bwari which claimed the lives of two army captains and three other military officers.
Relentless escapes across Nigeria have seen more than 3,000 detainees freed since the start of 2021, according to media reports. With the latest attacks in several parts of Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory, there seems to be no safe place left in Nigeria.
Nigeria is synonymous with jailbreaks which have become more prevalent in recent years, but this is the first time in this period that Abuja has been targeted, leaving many people shocked and fearing how safe they are then. that the West African nation is fighting a cycle of violence. blamed on Islamist extremists and armed groups, mainly in the troubled north of the country.
Let it be clear that Nigerians are tired of issuing State House press releases after every deadly attack. Enough excuses and excuses
An official statement from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) notes that 889 prisoners have escaped from Kuje prisons, including Boko Haram terrorists. According to the official statement, 559 prisoners remained in the prisons after the attack, 443 were recaptured and 443 are on the run.
Members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) later claimed responsibility for the prison attack. The Islamic State-linked group is an offshoot of the Boko Haram militant group that launched a decade-long insurgency in northeast Nigeria.
The Kuje incident is Nigeria’s 20th prison break in seven years. Across the country and on social media platforms, Nigerians have been expressing their anger, concern and calling for an end to the chaos.
When the former Nigerian Prison Service changed its name to the Nigerian Correctional Service in 2019, many believed that it would result in better and efficient service delivery, but the challenges besetting the service did not cease. His in-game motto reads: “Protect society; reform the prisoner. but these questions question the veracity of its motto and operations.
Prison capacity in Nigeria, in all facilities, is estimated at 50,000, but the actual population of Nigerian prisons is over 70,000 spread across 253 detention centers across the country, with the number of prisoners increasing over the years.
While the data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that Nigerian prisons were overcrowded by 34.2% in 2016, those of the Nigerian Correctional Service show that overcrowding increased by 48% in 2022, showing a growth of 12% in prison overcrowding between 2016 and 2022. in 2016 was 67,329 and increased to 74,675 in 2022.
That bandits could easily attack Kuje Prison, which Home Affairs Minister Rauf Aregbesola described as “the most heavily fortified in the country”, is very regrettable and shows the level of decay in Nigeria’s security standards.
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Even President Muhammadu Buhari could not provide answers to citizens’ questions about how the attackers overwhelmed the on-duty security forces and their safety in the country of more than 200 million people. Rather than giving answers, Buhari had more questions instead.
“How can terrorists organize themselves, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?” Buhari tweeted.
This reaction, coming from the president who had been a general in the army, left the public perplexed and many characterized this declaration as an admission of incapacity, frustration and powerlessness to face the armed groups. And as is often the case in previous incidents in Nigeria, no government official resigned, no one was penalized for the attack.
Beyond the symbolism of the attack unfolding right next to the seat of power, the State House, it can be rightly said that the growing inability of security agencies to put in place adequate responses to the loss of lives and property across Nigeria is a corresponding indicator of the group’s worrying level of sophistication.
Indeed, the apparent incompetence of Nigerian security chiefs has made Nigeria more precarious as other countries warn their nationals to stay away from Nigeria. Kidnappings for ransom are now commonplace. The police demand financial gratification before they do anything to save a kidnapped victim. And it’s very unfortunate. Nigeria is heading towards a state of anarchy.
Today, citizens and residents live in fear because no one knows who the next target would be. We therefore advise President Buhari to sit down for once and fulfill his responsibilities as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation.
There is fire on the mountain and the only solution is a cleanup and realignment of the country’s security architecture. Let it be clear that Nigerians are tired of issuing State House press releases after every deadly attack. Enough excuses and excuses.