Kuje Attack: Aregbesola Inspects Facility, Stresses Inter-agency Cooperation against Future Attacks

…Inmates’ money not stolen, Says Nadaba

By Dwelleth Morountodun

Following the attack on Kuje Custodial Facility, security agencies in the country have been tasked on the need to cooperate with one another in order to forestall future attacks on public infrastructure and other national assets.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, stated this on Friday when he led the management of the Ministry of Interior and its agencies on an inspection visit to the Kuje Custodial Centre that was recently attacked by gunmen suspected to be terrorists.

“The is a platoon of the Nigerian Army with sophisticated weapons, elite men of the Nigeria Police Force, Officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, and armed officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service, on ground during the time of the attack.

“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 for defence and that was the reason for the breach,” the Minister stated.

The Minister further reiterated his earlier position on declaring all custodial centres across the country as red zones, stating that whoever attempts it won’t live to tell the story.

“Now my position is so clear, I have declared since April last year that all our facilities are red zones and that whoever attempts an attack may 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 being put 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. I want to believe those who escaped can only run but cannot hide,” Aregbesola reiterated.

The minister who regretted the attack stated that what we are experiencing as a nation was the fall out of the success of the war in the north east.

“It is very regrettable that this happened. Let’s put it in context. The nation was experiencing asymmetric warfare. Yes, the insurgents have been degraded in the North-east of Nigeria. We have 61,000 of them in our custody in the North-east, the effect of the effectiveness itself in degrading them in the North-east is what we are experiencing. 

“As sad as it is, we must put behind whatever is happening now in the context of the asymmetric warfare unleashed on the nation by these criminal elements and we will rise to it, that’s the assurance I want to give to Nigerians, as I said if deployments is the basis of security, Kuje was as at Tuesday heavily fortified,” the minister stated.

On the tour were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaibu Belgore; Controller General, Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa; Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civi Defence Corps, Abubakar Audi; Director, Joint Services in the Minister of Interior, Mr. Peter Egbodo, amongst other dignitaries.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), has debunked the rumour in some quarters that the fleeing inmates from the centre, stole money both in local and foreign currencies belonging to their fellow inmates, is not true.

All Inmates’ cash deposited in the custody of the authorities of the custodial centre is intact and safe as there is an existing instruction from the Controller General of Corrections that all officers superintending custodial centres must not keep huge sums in the facility. 

This clarification becomes imperative against the misleading narrative the unfounded information has generated and the unpatriotic diversion of attention from addressing the challenges at stake.

The Controller-General of Corrections, Mr. Haliru Nababa is sparing no effort or resources in hunting down all the escapees and it is heart-warming that the integrated strategies are yielding favourable results.

He expresses his deep appreciation to security agencies and patriotic Nigerians whose collaboration is facilitating the recovery exercise.

Nababa, assures the public of his irrevocable commitment to bringing back all escapees to answer for their crimes. He therefore appeals that citizen should assist in achieving this task by visiting the Nigerian Correctional Service’s website

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