Residents of Suleja, Kuje, Bwari worry over insecurity around Nigeria’s capital
By Haruna Yusuf
Residents of the Zuma Rock community of Suleja in Niger State, Kuje, and Bwari in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital have expressed fears over rising terrorist activities in the areas.
Recall that these three communities have been in the news over recent attacks involving a prison break by Boko Haram terrorists who launched a ferocious attack on Kuje Correctional Center, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. According to reports, bombs, Rocket Propeller Grenade (RPG), and General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), were used by the terrorists to break into the facility and freed no less than 600 inmates, including Boko Haram fighters detained at the facility.
Six inmates and one security personnel were killed during the attack.
Similarly, two army captains and one soldier were reportedly killed in an ambush by terrorists on Sunday, July 22 around the Kubwa-Bwari Road Abuja while on routine patrol.
In another attack, a soldier was said to have been killed on Thursday, July 29, by terrorists who stormed an army checkpoint around Zuma Rock, the border between FCT and Niger State, these separate attacks elicited palpable fear among the residents of the FCT and its environs.
Aminu Muhammad, a fast food seller in Zuma Rock Community in an interview with Neptune Prime gives account of the latest attack, “We were just in our shop around 7pm, when some terrorists stormed our community and opened fire on the army personnel at the checkpoint then they began to exchange gun shots and that was how they were repelled by the armies.”
“Although, one of the army was killed. Meanwhile, when the terrorists alighted from their vehicle, one of my friends was standing by the roadside and he said he saw two of the men urinating by the side of the road while others were chanting Allahu Akbar (Allah is great), he also heard when the two terrorists said to themselves: Theset people here have not seen anything yet.”
“So my friend immediately scampered for safety running toward where we were seated by our shops and said, the Boko haram terrorist are here. All of us began to run for safety,” he explained.
When asked how are the member of the community coping with the panic; he said, “Despite the palpable fear of further attacks by the terrorist, l observed that the army has intensified patrol around the area,” he explained.
Speaking to a source that lives in Shetugo Village, adjacent to Kuje Correctional Center, he said, “The day the incident occurred I was at home around 8:30pm when I started hearing gunshots which elicited panic in the community that night, so many inmates ran to hide themselves in the primary school in Shetugo village and we heard them mumbling that they don’t know where to run to while some said they are going to escape to the city center. Some of the escapees where apprehended the following morning by prison personnel.”
Before the onslaught on the facility, I noticed that the visitors do enter the prison facility without thorough checking but now they have improved on the security at the entrance I also noticed an improvement in patrol with new vehicles, yet the residents still walk around in fear.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Ekpedeme Joe Ukodim, a Sociologist and a resident of Bwari community, said he observed that there is a lot of improvement in security patrol within the area he also confirmed there is palpable fear among the residents.
The attack has restricted residents like Mr Ukodim indoors at night.
He said, “I do not hang out at night and I can tell you that most residents do not come out at night too.”
Recall that in a bid to curtail the security challenges in the FCT, the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) aftermath the attack approved the sum of N2.6 billion for the procurement of 60 operational vehicles and gadgets to support security agencies to effectively secure the FCT.