Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, has stated that the Army and Police charged with protecting the Kuje Prison couldn’t hold their position effectively for defence, and that was the reason for the breach.
The Minister disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja when he led the management of the ministry and its agencies on an inspection visit to the centre that was recently attacked by gunmen suspected to be terrorists.
He called for cross-institutional collaboration to prevent future attacks and also assured Nigerians that the inmates who escaped will be captured and brought back to the prison.
What the minister is saying
The Minister said: “There is a platoon of the Nigerian Army with sophisticated weapons, the Nigeria Police Force, officers of the NSCDC, 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 have 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.”
He reminded reporters that since April 2021, all correctional facilities were declared red zones, stating “Now my position is so clear, I have declared since April 2021 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. It is medium by size but maximum by the security being put there. We have a platoon of security officers deployed here.”
He added that there was a high grade of military and police and other security forces deployed for protection but strangely, something happened, most of which could not be said on camera, but belives those who escaped can only run but can not hide.
The minister, who expressed regret over the attack, stated that what was being experienced as a nation was the fall out of the success of the war in the North-East.
He also added that Nigeria was experiencing asymmetric warfare and that the insurgents have been degraded in the North-East.
He said, “We have 61,000 of them in our custody in the North-East; the result of the effectiveness itself in degrading them in the North-East is what we are experiencing.”
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported yesterday that the Nigerian Senate insisted that the attack on Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, in Abuja, could only have been possible with insider collaboration.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, said that the attack on “Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre could only have been possible with the collaboration of insiders within the nation’s correctional system.”
“The attack on this correctional facility is symptomatic of the failure of security architecture. The attack is only a culmination of the failure. We were told that an estimated 300 suspected terrorists attacked this facility. They came on foot, and I believe they should have been detected.”
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