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Jailbreak: Fear in Abuja over alleged presence of escapee inmates

By Odita Sunday, Head Defence/Security Affairs
09 July 2022   |   4:15 am
There is palpable fear in the air in the nation’s seat of power after the vicious attack on Kuje Medium Security Correctional Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday, where hundreds of inmates were said to have escaped.

[FILE] President Muhammadu Buhari at the scene of Kuje Prison jailbreak PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

• Wadume, Notorious Kidnap Kingpin Among Escapees
• Major Roads Deserted After 8pm

There is palpable fear in the air in the nation’s seat of power after the vicious attack on Kuje Medium Security Correctional Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday, where hundreds of inmates were said to have escaped.

Sequel to this, the city of Abuja has never remained the same as residents are now living with their hearts in their mouths due to possible onslaught against the masses by the fleeing criminals, who may have mixed up with other citizens within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and environs.

Many major Highways in the area that were hitherto witnessed a beehive of activities have suddenly become deserted once it is 7pm.

The Guardian learnt that some of those roads, which used to be busy till 12 midnights, including Nnammdi Azikiwe Way; Ahmadu Bello Way; Adetokunbo Ademola Way; Ibrahim Babangida Way; Kasheem Ibrahim Way and Airport Road among others, are now lonely after 7pm.

Although there was an order, banning opening of Parks and Garden and liquor selling centres beyond 7pm, the infiltration of terrorists in the city has impacted on this situation.

However, the former Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Dennis Amachree, had urged residents of Abuja to be vigilant, as escapees may have infiltrated the city.

Giving the warning, Amachree, said: “People living in the FCT should be extra vigilant. Some of these escaped criminals could be looking for clothes, food and temporary shelter. They could be violent. So, pay more attention to your home environment and physical security as some have already infiltrated Abuja and its environs.”

The warning may have been taken seriously as workers and fun-seekers now rush home immediately after

More so, FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Babaji Sunday, has assured a watertight and all-inclusive security arrangement to protect residents in the FCT throughout the 2022 Eid-el-Kabir celebrations and beyond.

The CP gave the assurance while wishing all Muslim faithful within the FCT a happy Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

The CP noted that the yearly Eid-El-Kabir celebrations, in addition to the Eid prayers and other religious activities, are also characterised by families and friends uniting in public spheres in the spirit of celebration.

He emphasised that the Command has made all necessary security arrangements to protect residents and prevent any untoward situation.

The CP further noted that in pursuance of the common resolve to beef-up security, the Command would intensify robust stop and search operations, high level visibility policing patrols and surveillance of places of worship, parks, recreational centres, residential areas, and prompt response to any distress calls from across the FCT.

The CP added that Tactical and Intelligence Assets of the Command have been strategically deployed across the nooks and crannies of the Territory to nip in the bud any crime or threat to lives or property of residents.

He equally reiterated the commitment of the Command to working closely with other security and safety agencies and the citizens in promoting public safety, peace and security in the FCT.

“In addition to the above, Muslim faithful, who might wish to observe the Eid prayer at the National Eid praying ground along the Airport road are to note that there’s enough space to admit everyone inside the praying ground.

“Worshipers are, therefore, advised to pray inside and avoid praying on the Expressway in order to ensure orderliness and proper traffic management. Complementarily, there will also be traffic diversions on the Dantata Bridge from 7:00 to 10:00am of the said date.

“In the same vain. Vehicles will not be allowed to park in front of the praying grounds both on the Expressway and service lane. At all other praying grounds within the FCT, no vehicle will be permitted to park 200 meters close to the praying grounds. Worshipers and residents are advised to cooperate with the Police deployed strictly for enforcement.”

Meanwhile, among the criminals allegedly escaped from the Kuje Correctional Centre include notorious kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume.

Wadume, who was remanded in the custody, for armed robbery, kidnaping and gun running after his arrest by operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), has not been found since after the attack on the facility.

Meanwhile, the CP has urged residents to report any suspicious or abnormal occurrence to the Police through the following emergency lines: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883, while the Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) desk, could be reached on: 0902 222 2352.