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Over 87 Abuja residents killed, 176 kidnapped under Tinubu – Report

 

Over 200 violent attacks have been recorded across all six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, since President Bola Tinubu assumed office on May 29, 2023.


The incidents led to the death of no fewer than 87 residents of the FCT, while 176 were kidnapped within the period.


The figures were sourced from Beacon Consulting, a local firm monitoring security issues in the country, and several media reports on violent attacks, including kidnapping and killings in the FCT.


Since the assumption of office of the Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, on August 16, 2023, there’s been a rise in violent attacks in the nation’s capital.


The FCT is facing alarming surge in insecurity, prompting concerns among residents and the authorities. The capital city, once considered relatively immune to the prevalent security challenges in other parts of the country, is now grappling with an escalating wave of criminal activities, particularly kidnapping.


According to a 2020 report by SB Morgen, Abuja was ranked 11th among locations with frequent abductions, a stark revelation of the evolving security landscape in the region.


Over the last three years, close to 50 kidnap cases have been recorded in Abuja, involving over 200 persons. The severity of the issue becomes more apparent when examining the data from January 2021 to June 2023, revealing approximately 40 recorded cases with 236 victims. Between October and December 2023 alone, there were 13 recorded kidnap incidents, impacting 80 victims.


These incidents are not isolated to specific areas but have occurred in various locations within Abuja, including Gwagwalada Kuje, Lugbe, Pegi, Abaji, Keti, and Kwali. What is particularly concerning is that these incidents seem to occur unchallenged by security agencies, allowing criminal elements to operate with impunity.


The economic toll of the rising insecurity is substantial, with confirmed ransom payments totalling N653.7m between 2021 and 2022. Residents and businesses in the affected areas are bearing the brunt of the security challenges, and the impact on daily life and economic activities is becoming increasingly pronounced.


The most notorious among the incidents over the past seven months includes the abduction of seven persons, including six girls kidnapped on January 5, 2024, in the Bwari Area Council.


Latest amongst the incidents was the abduction of the wife and one of the in-laws of a lawyer, Cyril Adikwu, on Thursday, January 18, at the Nigerian Army Post Housing Scheme in the Kurudu area of Abuja.


The incident, according to a neighbour of the victims, occurred around 10pm in the Phase 2 area of the estate.


Also, on January 7, 2024, armed men abducted 12 from an estate in the Bwari area of Abuja.


On December 12, 2023, a total of 23 residents of the Dei-Dei community in the Bwari area of the FCT were also abducted.


A nursing mother and three children were kidnapped in Abuja on December 12, 2023. An Abuja-based musician and his band members were kidnapped on December 18, 2023, while two persons were kidnapped in the Mpape area of the FCT on July 16, 2023.


Following a rise in the incidents, Nigerians have called on the Federal Government and the security agencies to find a lasting solution to the problem.


The Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, on Wednesday launched the Special Intervention Squad in the FCT to curb the activities of kidnappers and bandits wreaking havoc, especially in border towns within the territory.


The squad is charged with patrolling and securing the communities in the border areas of the FCT, and intervening to curb and mitigate violent attacks in the nation’s capital.


Following the inauguration of the SIS, its operatives commenced patrol across the FCT and border towns, villages and hamlets.


The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who spoke in an interview, revealed that the deployment of the officers would be all over the FCT, with more attention to crisis-prone areas and exits out of the city.


He added that the creation of the SIS was aimed at addressing the security concerns in the FCT.


“The deployment will be all over, with more attention to crisis-affected areas and exits out of the city. It is a general operation aimed at addressing the security concerns in the FCT,” Adejobi said.


The Commander of the FCT SIS, Bennett Igwe, who led the operatives on Tuesday in Bwari, Kawu, Kubwa and Gwagwalada, among others, and into Niger, Nasarawa, Kaduna, and Kogi states, said that the SIS operatives would be stationed in the borders and would be moving in and out of the FCT to apprehend bandits and other insurgents disturbing the peace of the capital city.


He added that the SIS was under the command of the Inspector-General of Police at the Force Headquarters hence its operatives were not limited by borders.


Igwe said, “We are here tonight in Kawu, where about 23 persons were kidnapped. As you’ve seen, we’ve toured the whole of Bwari, and we have shown the criminals that we are ready and we want our people to be at peace.


“As we’re stationed here and patrolling Bwari, our other officers are also currently patrolling other border towns in the FCT; our operatives are patrolling Gwagwalada, Kubwa, Maraba, and other border towns, villages and hamlets. And we’re moving in and out of the border states of Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger, and Kogi. We will flush the bandits out and return peace and harmony to the FCT.”


 

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