These are not the best of times for residents of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as they continue to face security challenges on frequent basis.
For residents of Kubwa in Bwari area of the FCT in particular, life appears to be brutal and nasty for them, as they continue to experience gunmen attacks, which often result in abduction and fatalities.
On the night of Friday, March 10, gunmen numbering in the region of 20 stormed the Grow Homes Estate along Kuchibiyi in the Kubwa abducting nine residents in the process.
A source in the community while disclosing details of the incident to the Nigerian Tribune stated that: “At about 11:30 pm, some gunmen in their large numbers came to carry out an operation at Grow Homes Estate along Kuchibiyi. We heard gunshots, causing panic in the entire community.
“This morning, we went to the estate and we learnt those gunmen were about 20. They moved from one apartment to the other dispossessing residents their belongings. They also kidnapped at least nine persons including children and women from two apartments in the estate.
“They escaped through the bush which linked the community to Paze Village. The police and the estate security have been searching the bush since morning to see if they can rescue those kidnapped.”
This is one of several incidents of security breaches that residents of the FCT have suffered.
In a previous episode last year, residents of Kubwa Extension II on Arab Road, in Bwari Area Council of the FCT, which was mapped out by Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in 2003, woke up on the night of Tuesday, August 24, 2022, to a rude shock as gunmen numbering over 30 struck at the estate, injuring four guards and killing one in the process.
These residents called for the urgent intervention of FCTA in providing a police post in the area to checkmate the constant attacks on them.
The vice chairman Kubwa Extension II Residents Association, Mr Francis Bobai, spoke to Nigerian Tribune and explained that the community was mercilessly attacked, leaving five private security guards badly injured.
Bobai sorrowfully explained that one out of the five injured guards, named Joel Bulus from Gombe State, could not survive several deep cuts inflicted on his body. He expressed hope that a functional police post in the area would curb the excesses of the attackers.
He said: “Four of our security guards were at Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital and Kubwa Hospital receiving treatment. We are looking for a lasting solution from the government. Some members of the community were kidnapped and ransom was paid by the community and families of the victims. Many times, hoodlums invade our community to rob and injure residents.”
According to him, the attackers often come in through a porous section to attack at ungodly hours and escape through the same route to the mountain connecting Jibi settlement.
On December 7, 2022, gunmen raided the same Kubwa Extension II estate killing one resident on the spot, leaving one badly injured with gunshots, abducting a youth on national service and seven others in the process.
An eye witness told Nigerian Tribune that: “They shot to death a tailor popularly known as Oshodi. They also shot another male, and abducted a corps member and seven others.”
On January 1, 2023, gunmen gave residents of Baipe community in Kubwa, a sad New Year gift by abducting people in the community. One of the victims was stabbed in the chest in the presence of his pregnant wife.
Insecurity is not peculiar to Kubwa area in the FCT. There are several cases of security breakdown in several locations in the capital city. Just recently, two herdsmen abducted and gang-raped a woman carrying an eight months pregnancy in Abaji area council of the FCT.
Dooshima Orva, a resident of Orozo District of the FCT, told Nigerian Tribune that that menace of herdsmen in the FCT is taking a new dimension as they act like outlaws.
According to her, they bring their cattle to feed on people’s crops, and following any complaint, the herdsmen attack the people and carry on without facing the law.
In all these, the FCT Police Command has always promised the residents that it is in control of the situation.
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh, told Nigerian Tribune after the March 10 attack in Kuchibiyi, Kubwa that: “Upon receipt of the distress call, we immediately deployed our men to the scene. The suspects, however, abruptly suspended their operations and took some victims with them into the bush.
“Operatives of the police and the estate security are still combing the bushes in the area to ensure they are rescued unhurt.
“We urge the residents to remain calm and assist with useful information that could lead to the swift arrest of these criminals.”
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), after distributing operational vehicles to security agencies in the capital city, recently distributed equipment to security agencies operating within the territory, aimed at strengthening the fight against lawlessness.
The equipment ranging from bullet proof jackets, hand grenades, helmets and other sensitive security equipment, were said to be complementary to the brand new vehicles that were earlier distributed to them some months ago, by FCT the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello.
FCTA’s Permanent Secretary, Adesola Olusade, who performed the distribution in Abuja, said that the administration values the sacrifices of the security agencies, and will continue to reward them for unalloyed diligence and loyalty.
Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah, on March 17, told Nigerian Tribune, when the FCT Ministerial task force stormed Arab Road in Kubwa, to dismantle illegal settlements believe to be habitats of criminals, that the FCT Minister authorised the demolition.
According to him, “The Minister of FCT Malam Muhammad Bello gave the task force headed by the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Shehu Hadi Ahmad, to clean the entire stretch leading to Kubwa train station from popular Arab junction down to the train station.”
Demenongo Anyinyi, a resident of Karshi area of Abuja told Nigerian Tribune that: “People come from around the country to settle in Abuja, some are criminals, the police need to secure conviction for criminals in court to show example to others. Abuja is work in progress, so the FCTA need to work even harder to secure all of who reside in this city.”