Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Sunday, flayed the Nigeria Police Force over growing kidnappings and killings in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, especially in the last one year.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it is condemnable that the police have failed to secure the 36 states of the Federation and now the FCT which is the seat of power.
The group said despite the presence of the Force Headquarters in Abuja and the headquarters of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Navy and other security and paramilitary agencies, bandits and kidnappers continue to have a field day in Abuja, storm residents’ houses in gated estates, and kidnap them for ransom, hitting hundreds of millions of naira.
Many cases of kidnappings abound in Abuja including the most recent where 14 people including the village head of Chida, Kwali, were abducted from the Kwali area council of Abuja in April. The hostages were taken to Sarudauna Forest, Nasarawa State, via Gegu village bordering the FCT.
Similarly, eight other hostages were kidnapped from Lapai and Tungan Mallam villages of neighbouring Niger State also in April. One of the victims was killed by bandits.
Gunmen in May kidnapped a 52-year-old Turkish national, Erdogan Guler, and one other person in the Kubwa area of Abuja.
About 70 persons were killed and 194 abducted by bandits and other criminals in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in 2022 alone, according to data by an indigenous intelligence outfit, Beacon Consulting.
On July 5, 2022, insurgents invaded the Kuje prison in Abuja and freed hundreds of inmates including hardened Boko Haram fighters. The marauders would later in August ambush and kill some members of the Presidential Guards Brigade in Abuja. Similarly, on March 28, 2022, terrorists attacked a Kaduna-Abuja train, killed scores, kidnapped many passengers and held them hostages for over six months before their eventual release earlier in October.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The glaring truth is that FCT security has been breached many times with perplexing statistics of kidnapped victims and those killed in the last one year. Kidnappings happening this frequent in the FCT is a slap on the face of the police.
“We recommend that Abuja ought not to be treated by the police as a mere state but a Federal Capital in the sense that a Deputy Inspector General of Police should head Abuja police security with commissioners in charge of the different area councils with mobile barracks built-in Area councils to make it impregnable to terrorists, kidnappers and petty thieves.”
May 7, 2023
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.