The Federal Government has said that Nigerian Citizens and law enforcement agencies have constitutional right to use all necessary means to arrest fleeing inamates who absconded after gunmen attacked a Correctional Centre in Kogi State.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who described the incident as unfortunate. made this known while affirming the incident after he was briefed by the Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa.
He lamented that “Regrettably, two officers of the correctional service are yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman lost their lives during the attack.”
He warned the fleeing inmates that “escaping from lawful custody is a serious criminal offence. Law enforcement agencies and citizens are lawfully empowered to use all necessary means to arrest and bring you to justice.
“You should, therefore, know what you are up against. You will, however, be eligible for mitigation if you wilfully surrender yourselves at the nearest law enforcement office.”
Meanwhile, concerns over insecurity have brought the Federal Government under stronger pressure with new waves of criticism, as lamentation over insecurity menace grow sourer, following several attacks across the Country on Monday.
Kogi jail break
Reports on Monday have it that fierce gunmen in their tens attacked the medium Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, Kogi, on Sunday night through Monday morning, killing the military men keeping guard along the route before attacking the centre.
Nigeria’s Correctional Service spokesman, Francis Enobore in a statement confirming the incident, said: “The medium Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, Kogi State, has been attacked by yet to be identified gunmen and 240 inmates forcefully released.”
According to the Statement, the attack took place at about 2245 GMT on Sunday, by heavily armed gunmen who “engaged the armed guards in a fierce gun battle,” before setting open the prison which had 294 prisoners in custody at the time, including 224 pre-trial detainees.
In a later development, the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Monday said most of the prisoners who escaped from the Custodial Centre have been rearrested through swift security network while some returned on their own.
The Governor who disclosed this in a press statement signed on Monday by the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo,said investigation is ongoing to trail the masterminds of the attack, urging residents of the State and citizens of neigbouring States “to help volunteer information that will ensure the apprehension of the masterminds of the dastardly act.”
According to the Statement, the State Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara (rtd) was currently at the Centre with the Kogi State Commissioner of Police and the Commander, Army Records, Lokoja.
The statement read partly: “Security Agencies have zeroed in to ensure those who escaped are rearrested as well as trail the masterminds of the attack.
“Our security network has led to the rearrest of majority of the inmates that escaped as some have also come back to the centre on their own. Security agencies, traditional rulers and local hunters are working in synergy to ensure normalcy.
This is just as Kidnappers yesterday abducted at least four persons transiting through Ekiti State.
The Police spokesman in Ekiti State, ASP Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the abduction, said it took place on the Ayetoro Ekiti – Otun Ekiti Road in Moba Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, the whereabouts of 32 other passengers as at the time of filing this report, were yet unknown.
Security Agencies in Kaduna on Monday disclosed that attack on Sunday evening in Zangon Kataf Local Government area of Kaduna State left 12 person dead and two injured.
The 12 persons were reportedly killed in the attack by unidentified assailants in Peigyim village, near Kibori, Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon Kataf local government area.
Approve firearm for Universities’ security operatives – SSANU to FG
As schools and academic institutions across the Country have recently come under threat of bandit attacks, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has again called on the Federal Government to approve licenses for security outfits in all institutions of learning to bear firearms in order to adequately guide against criminal invasion.
As part of its resolutions following its 40th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, the Union in a communique signed by its National President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, lamented that the Country was being “ravaged and grappling with insecurity, kidnapping, banditry, rape, killings and monstrous corruption.”
The resolution read partly: “Every well-meaning Nigerian should be concerned about the state of our dear Nation Nigeria, a country blessed with natural and human resources which is now a shadow of herself, ravaged and grappling with insecurity, kidnapping, banditry, rape, killings and monstrous corruption.
“NEC in session condemns in strong terms, the absurd and unabated increase in insecurity across the country, especially the incessant abductions/demand for ransom and killings of students and staff of secondary and tertiary institutions by bandits, especially in the Northern part of the country.
“The recent invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna was a National embarrassment and disgrace, indicating a total collapse of the security architecture of the country.
“This dangerous dimension has forced several states to shut down schools in violence-prone areas. This will no doubt, add to the over 13.5millions out of school children in Nigeria today.
“From all indications, this is a great threat to the educational system, bearing in mind that the economic growth of any nation directly depends on the level of her educational standard and stability.”
The Union therefore called “on the Federal Government to urgently stem this ugly tide by strengthening the security agencies to ensure effective tackling of this monstrous menace.
“Furthermore, relevant enforceable laws should be enacted to curb this savagery. NEC also strongly canvasses for Government’s approval of licenses for security outfits in all institutions of learning to bear firearms in order to adequately checkmate these security threats and criminal incursions.”
The Union which decried the deplorable state of roads across the Country as a gap “hoodlums capitalise on to lay ambush on unsuspecting travellers to rob, kidnap and even kill”, called on the Federal Government “to take urgent steps in ensuring that our high-ways are motorable in order to reduce the hardship and risks of the teaming citizenry who ply these roads.”
Attacks on schools and academic institutions have recently become rife. Scores of students of the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, who were kidnapped by bandits who stormed the school in June have now spent about 88 days in their abductors den after several failed promises from the Kebbi State Government have not yielded results of securing their release.
No more excuses irrespective of circumstances — COAS to Commanders
Meanwhile, as pressure on the Federal Government over the heightening insecurity attacks in Country assumed tougher dimension on Monday, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has raised a flag of warning to Formation Commanders and Commanders at all levels, charging them to rise up to the challenge of tackling insecurity in the Country.
In his warning, he charged the Commanders to awake to the challenge by working along the Command Philosophy which he has outlined to ensure that operational and administrative proficiencies of Nigerian Army units and formations are sustained and improved upon.
The Army chief who gave his note of warning at the opening ceremony of the COAS Combined Second and Third Quarter Conference at the Command Officers Mess 1, Abuja on Monday, stressed that he would no longer condone excuses from the Commanders.
“I will not again take or accept excuses. Failure is failure irrespective of the circumstances.
“I want to state that, the Nigerian Army under my watch will remain resolute and continue to chart progressive paths towards tackling the security challenges confronting the Country.
“Hence, I have directed that serious attention be given to sustaining and improving the tempo in all ongoing Nigerian Army operations across the Country. I have also directed for the conduct of special operations especially in the North Central and Northwest Regions to address the deteriorating security infractions in the Regions.
“Commanders must therefore glean from my Command Philosophy to ensure that operational and administrative proficiencies of Nigerian Army units and formations are sustained and improved upon. Commanders must seize initiative and commanders must take initiative, they must take decisive actions to defeat the threats in their respective Areas of Responsibilities. I will not again take or accept no excuses. Gentlemen, failure is failure irrespective of the circumstances.
“As formation commanders and Principal Staff Officers, your role is critical to the attainment of my vision. As officers and commanders under whose charge are placed men, materiel, and other resources, you are the key drivers of these pillars. You must therefore note that even if we have all we require, we might not achieve much without you providing effective leadership, good attitude and acting professionally in all our conduct, of operations and other activities.
He said: “I am aware of logistics constraints affecting operations across the Country and I am glad to inform you that efforts are in progress to provide us with combat enablers that would enhance and boost our operations.
“Training must also be given due attention that it deserves. In order to achieve this, priorities for the fourth quarter of the year would include training and more training.
“I will continue to demand that you redouble your efforts so that we can decisively deal with our adversaries or any group or person that threaten the peace and stability of our great nation.”