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Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation’s Shambolic Security Ecosystem

Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation's Shambolic Security Ecosystem

Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation's Shambolic Security Ecosystem

Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation’s Shambolic Security Ecosystem

This piece titled Kuje as a metaphor for the nation’s shambolic security ecosystem is written by Thomas Peretu, a public affairs analyst based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

The recent decimation of the Kuje correctional centre by members of the dreaded Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) has further exposed the vulnerability of government installations and infrastructures owing to the near collapse of our security artichecture. Besides, it glaringly illustrates the grim reality of our shambolic management of intelligence exchanges within the security ecosystem.

The July 5 affront of a supposedly fortified correctional base, located within the precincts of Abuja, and a shouting distance from the seat of power was not only audacious, to say the least but brazen, egregious and indeed mortifying to wit.

It is worthy to note that a week before the assault on Kuje Prisons, a platoon of soldiers and scores of civilian workers at a mining site in Shiroro, Niger State were brutally murdered while a handful of Chinese nationals were adopted by a band of terrorists.

Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation's Shambolic Security Ecosystem
Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation’s Shambolic Security Ecosystem

Again, a day prior to the Kuje incident two officers in the advance convoy of the president en-route to Daura, the President’s homestead in Katsina State were killed by bandits. With the passage of each day, the terrorists and their cohorts are becoming more daring in their operations aided, apparently by the docility of the federal authorities to halt the rising tide of insecurity in the land.

It could be logically argued, perhaps rightly so, that the cauldron of violence in the country is orchestrated by the varying contradictions inherent in our contextual federal system of government which the political elites seem to manipulate to advance their hegemonic buccaneering.

It may equally be inferred, perhaps with caution that the cardinal objective is not unconnected to the desire to conquer the heart of the nation by Islamic warlords as it was done in Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere in the horn of Africa. It may also be aimed at sufficiently incapacitating the federal government so as to render her docile while the storm of islmazation takes a foothold in the country. Some how there must be a reason behind this sudden be still horror sweeping across the our land. Trust me. Don’t forget, the water bill has just reincarnated at the national assembly. We are surely on a journey, I can assure you.

The epic Kuje assault, without being uncharitable has again ridiculed our convoluted reputation as well as punctured our claim to regional superpower within the west African conference.

This unconscionable act perpetrated by the terror merchants in partnership with Boko Haram elements caught, the motley security operatives stationed at the prison flat-footed as they were unashamedly overwhelmed by the superior fire power of the invaders. From the outcome of that attack, one can deduce that the officers and men on duty that fateful night were unquestionably nonplussed. We don’t need a soothsayer to help us guess the involvement of insider collaboration. This is the hard truth. We cannot skirt this painful truth with professional hypothesis to the contrary.

Needless, to say that the catastrophic incident shook the nation to its roots. Obviously, not because we lack similar experiences in the past. No, not exactly. But, because the scale of the breach signposts an apocalypse of some sort.

It will be foolhardy to doubt the fact that attacks on correctional centres will have a telling effect on the acute security woes of the land. Especially, if we allow this to become a norm rather than the exception in a country. Of course, we are already burdened by myriads of political challenges coupled with the endemic socio-economic quagmire that seem to defy solution.

By the way, the jail break effectuated the calculated disappearance of over 600 out of the 900 inmates warehoused at the correctional centre. Many of whom have been in custody for upwards of 15 years while 70 per cent of the inmates are awaiting trials. This is a clear indication of the failure of the judiciary.

President Mohammadu Buhari who paid an unscheduled visit to the locus inquo while on his way out of the country, lamented the abysmal intelligence gathering mechanism at the centre. The attack was clinically executed. But we know that umbrage and tears do not translate to effective action. The President need to be purposive In the defence of the people as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of the nation. Those he considers as as cog in the wheel of progress should be booted out of the system. Unfortunately this president inns given to sacking indolent public servants. He is very accommodative of even the unproductive and lieing staffers.

Isn’t it disheartening to discover that the incident which lasted over three hours had no footage for reference? Because, the centre does enjoy the luxury of owning close circuit television? How on earth can you possibly incarcerate such high calibre terrorists in medium correctional centre without installing cctv? What informed the decision by the custodial authorities to keep these set of criminals at a medium centre instead of a maximum correctional centre?

In fact there are more pertinent questions begging for answers.

For instance, where were the contingent of security officers, when the assailants invaded the centre? If they were over powered as some analysts claimed, why didn’t they ask for reinforcement? How did the terrorists got to Abuja without detection by the police at check points? How armed were the men on guard? How come none of the military formations could not respond to the attack, while it lasted? Going forward, it is important that we find answers to these salient questions. Government must undertake a forensic analysis of incident so as to forestall further assaults. It may interest you realise that we have had more jail breaks in the country in recent times than ever before in the history of Nigeria.

According to a report by This Day newspapers, due to the pervasive lack of security in and around correctional and custodial centres nationwide, prison breaks have so far resulted in the escape of over 7000 prisoners from Nigerian Prisons since 2015 with over 5000 recorded in 2020.

This figures are mind boggling. Time and space will not allow us to enumerate the detail jail breaks across the country. If care is not taken, we may have another social pandemic in our hands besides the uncountable socio-economic vices staring us in the face.

Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation's Shambolic Security Ecosystem
Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation’s Shambolic Security Ecosystem

We hope the President will be decisive this time around to fire those found culpable in the Kuje attack. It is not enough to shed tears and lament the appealing state of our Prisons, the government must rise to the occasion. It must address the issues of security lapses at all government installations around the country. We certainly cannot afford to have some dangerous terror merchants on the lose.

It behoves the security agencies to collaborate with sister organisations by sharing intelligence reports where necessary. It will be unconscionable for security agencies to work at cross purposes at this critical time. Citizens must also cooperate with the intelligence community so as to bring to book the fleeing terrorists. We are aware that 64 of those dangerous elements are out there roaming the streets. This is dangerous for our wellbeing. All hands must be on deck in our search for a lasting solution to nation’s security challenges.

This is my stand.

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Kuje As a Metaphor for the Nation’s Shambolic Security Ecosystem

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