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Gunmen storm Jos Correctional Centre as Speaker condemns killings

By Isa Abdulsalami (Jos) and Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan) and Tina Abeku (Abuja)
29 November 2021   |   2:56 am
Security operatives were said to have taken on the assailants, whose identities couldn’t be verified as at press time.

Situation under control, says NCoS spokesman
• Attacks on prisons worrisome, compound insecurity, says Farounbi 

Gunmen, yesterday, attacked Jos Correctional Centre in Plateau State.

Although details were sketchy, some casualties were reported.

Security operatives were said to have taken on the assailants, whose identities couldn’t be verified as at press time.

Information Officer for the military’s Operation Safe Haven, Major Ishaku, confirmed the incident, yesterday evening.

He said personnel of the joint task force were at the facility to repel the attackers.

The Centre is situated in the heart of Jos City, not far from the police headquarters.

The gunmen were said to have arrived in large numbers to free some inmates. They, however, faced resistance from armed guards.

Authorities of the Nigeria Correctional Service, (NCoS), late yesterday, released a statement confirming the attack.

Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore, said: “Although they (attackers) gained entrance to the yard, they were, however, trapped within, as men from sister security services were immediately mobilised to assist the armed guards to cordon off the perimeter wall and the entire area. Reinforcement from the response squad of the Service has also been mobilised to the centre.”

He said the situation was under control and that the attackers were being subdued by superior firepower.

He promised to give further updates.

Nigerian prisons have become targets of attacks by armed men in recent months.

In September, Kabba Correctional Centre was attacked, while hundreds of inmates escaped. In October, Abonlogo Correctional Facility in Oyo was attacked. Many prisoners also escaped.

In October, gunmen attacked the Oko Medium Security Centre in Edo State and freed the inmates. Close to 4,000 prisoners are said to be at large, according to the Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola.

This came as Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker, Yakubu Sanda, condemned the Friday, November 26, 2021 attack in Miango, Bassa Local Council Area, which killed 10 persons.

Sanda described the incident as unwarranted and criminal, aimed at putting the state in a bad light. He urged defence operatives to arrest the perpetrators and called on citizens to provide security agencies with credible information.

MEANWHILE, an elder statesman and former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, yesterday, expressed concern over attacks on correctional centres in the country. 

He spoke on the heels of the Jos incident during an event held at Tunde Odunlade Arts and Culture Connextion, Bodija, Ibadan.

He said: “It is becoming more worrisome when correctional centres are being attacked and when the people therein get released into society. Some of them are serious criminals. We already have enough criminality in society. So, when you unleash people who have been separated from society because of their degrees of crime, you multiply the degree of insecurity.”

He called on the government to strengthen security at correctional facilities.