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Insecurity In Abuja: Fear, Doubts Over Safety Of Aso Rock, National Assembly, Nation’s Courts

  

The reported attempt by burglars to break into the residence of the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari has been generating different reactions on social media.


While the debate on if the event happened in the Villa or on the street close to the villa continues, issues of security has become a thing of major concern for citizens in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Last week, a member of the House of Representatives, Nicholas Ossai from Delta State reported a case of burglary at his office located at the National Assembly complex, which is within the Three Arms Zone in Abuja.


Mr Ossai raised a point of order on personal explanation. He informed the House that his office was burgled and computers and other items were carted away from his office. The Speaker responded that the leadership will be meeting with the management of the National Assembly to discuss the “degrading level of security at the National Assembly.

Before the incidence of theft at the office of the lawmaker, there had been increasing security presence at the National Assembly with an increase in the number of checkpoints.

Two weeks ago, following a mass protest by legislative aides over 22 months of unpaid arrears, a combined team of police and sergeant at arm created an extra security presence at some of the entrances, with extra scrutiny of ID cards and visitor’s tags of those going into the complex.


It is unknown if these new security measures have anything to do with the alarm raised by the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, who said terrorists are infiltrating his state, a neighbouring State to the FCT. Back in January, the governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule also raised a similar alarm on activities of Boko Haram in his State, another State that shares a boundary with the FCT.

Furthermore, activities of the unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), an armed group of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOD), have raised security concerns across the country.


On Monday, police released a statement that IPOB is planning to attack Lagos.


How vulnerable is the National Assembly


The National Assembly sees a lot of traffic daily, and more during sitting days of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There are 469 members of the National Assembly (109 senators and 360 Reps), each with support staff that ranges from 3-5. Also, there is National Assembly bureaucracy and visitors that regularly flock to the complex.


There are two external gates at the complex, one at the Eagle Square axis and the OSGF axis. And there are three internal gates. One via the main entrance, second, through the annexe (Close to SGF) and other gate linking the Presidential Villa to the National Assembly.

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