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Nigerians In Shock As Terrorists Attack Kuje Prison, ISWAP Claim Responsibility… Buhari Talks Tough Before Departing Nigeria

Nigerians woke up on Wednesday morning to shocking reports of a daredevil attack on Kuje Medium Correctional Centre by terrorists where a large number of Boko Haram members and other inmates escaped.

Recall that heavily armed gunmen had invaded the correctional center around 10.30 pm on Tuesday night.

The gunmen who bombarded the facility and successfully operated for about one hour unhindered reportedly freed Boko Haram inmates at the correctional centre.

It was gathered that other inmates used the opportunity of the attack to escape from the Kuje Prison.

Confirming the attack, the spokesman to the prison service, Umar Abubakar said an armed squad of the service in collaboration with other security agencies responded to the attack.

Abubakar in a statement released in the early hours of Wednesday said calm has returned to the area.

The statement was titled, “Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje attacked by gunmen.”

It reads, “I wish to confirm that at about 2200hrs, some yet-to-be-identified gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, in the Federal Capital Territory.

“However, men of the Armed Squad of the Nigerian Correctional Service and other security agencies attached to the Custodial Centre have responded and calm has been restored to the facility and the situation is under control.

“Other details will be made available soon.”

Boko Haram inmates regain freedom

Speaking during a visit to the Kuje prison on Wednesday morning,  Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi confirmed that all Boko Haram terrorists arrested and held in Kuje prison in Abuja escaped during the attack on the facility.

Magashi said: “The attack started around 10:30 pm. They came in their numbers gained entrance into the prison and released some of the inmates and we are now following to see the kind of inmates that they have released.

“Very soon, we will give you the correct figure of the inmates that were taken. Aside from that, we are trying to see what we can do to ensure that all escapees are returned back.”

Magashi said some of the inmates have been recaptured and brought back to the prison, hoping that more will be captured and returned soon.

“I think everything is under control. The people who came to do these activities from the records we believe they belong to a particular group. Most likely, they are Boko Haram members because we have a sizable number of Boko Haram suspects in detention, and presently we cannot locate any of them.

“I think they are about 64 in the prison and none of them now is available they have all escaped.”

Soldiers redeployment

In what sounded as complicity on the part of security agents, a source told Vanguard that soldiers attached to Kuje Medium Correctional Centre were removed and redeployed hours before Boko Haram terrorists attacked the facility.

Security sources have revealed to Vanguard that soldiers deployed to Kuje vicinity and the Correctional Center’s environment, who had mastered the terrain and acclimatized, were moved out before the attack.

It was, however, gathered that the period the soldiers were supposed to stay in that deployment had elapsed, and they were due for rotation.

President Buhari talks tough, slams security agencies.

President Muhammadu Buhari who was on his way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport to board the Presidential Jet to Senegal had made a stop at the facility.

President Buhari who visited the attacked facility in the company of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and his chief of staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari queried how the terrorists could organize and carry out such an attack.

Buhari made his mind known after he was briefed at the scene by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Mohammad Lamido Belgore and the Controller General of Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa.

He questioned the inability of security forces on guard to have raised an initial alarm before the situation got out of hand and so many terrorists in detention were released.

The President was told that 63 terrorists were unaccounted for after the attack.

“How did the defences at the prison fail to prevent the attack? How many inmates were in the facility? How many of them can you account for? How many personnel did you have on duty? How many of them were armed? Were there guards on the watchtower? What did they do? Does the CCTV work?” President Buhari queried according to a statement on Wednesday by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.

The President was also informed that the security forces have recaptured 350 of the escapees while about 450 others are still unaccounted for, and that rapid work is under way to recapture the rest.

After inspecting some of the attacked points within the facility, President Buhari told newsmen he was disappointed with the intelligence system (and utilization).

“I am disappointed with the intelligence system. How can terrorists organize, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?”

ISWAP releases video

Meanwhile, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter faction of Boko Haram, on Wednesday night claimed responsibility for the daring attack on the correctional centre.

The terrorist sect in a video released on Wednesday night showed some of its men shooting their way into the facility.

The 38 seconds video released by the terrorist group showed fighters marching in groups while vehicles and buildings were on fire.

According to DailyTrust, an elderly man dressed in native attire also joined the young men who were shouting on top of their voices.

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Multilingual Blogger, Website and Graphic Designer, Gobir Enthusiast, GTE at WordPress Hausa. I am Abdul Mailahiya Hausa by name, Founder- Operator at Bago Technologies. My hobbies are reading, travelling and discovering.

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