Insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory, or FCT, has lately escalated as kidnappers and unknown gunmen continue to terrorize citizens in various sections of the city, murdering and abducting them.
As the holiday season approaches, criminal elements have continued to swarm the city, with kidnappings, murders, armed robbery, burglary, and cult-related activities becoming increasingly common.
Kubwa, Lugbe, Bwari, Kwali, and Gwagwada, among others, are parts of the FCT suburbs that are frequently targeted.
On November 2, gunmen assaulted the University of Abuja, Uni-Abuja staff quarters with sophisticated weaponry and kidnapped two academics from the university.
Recall also that on Thursday, the Nigeria Police Force paraded one fake Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP Lawrence Ajojo and 13 others who allegedly invaded Justice Mary Odili’s residence on October 29, 2021.
Same day, the Vanguard reporter, Mr Tordue Henry Salem who was recently declared missing, was found dead in Abuja. The controversy surrounding his death has not been clearly uncovered as at press time despite the arrest of a suspect.
More worrisome is the incessant attacks and killing of passengers and the cab-hailing service drivers who ply major roads in the territory by criminal elements suspected to be bandits and ritualists.
One of the drivers of the app-based vehicle operators, Uber, Mr Ikechukwu told DAILY POST that some of his colleagues have been attacked recently by armed robbers and other bloodthirsty men.
Ikechukwu named Kwali and Bwari roads as the most dangerous places to ply, particularly at night due to activities of the assailants who rob, kidnap and even kill persons for different criminal purposes.
According to him, other places considered to be a no-go areas at night include Berger roundabout, Maitama junction, Mabushi, Gwarinpa, Apo roundabout, Area 1 and 3, Galadimawa, Kubwa express and Wuse 2.
He said, “There are places we don’t go at night. Armed robbers, kidnappers are everywhere operating everyday, if you fall for them, sorry for you. If they don’t kidnap you, they will snatch your car and rob you of all your belongings before letting you go.
“My friend, Adebayo, fell victim a few days ago. He ignorantly picked three armed robbers from Mabushi at night going to Garki. Just after the bridge, they brought out their weapons and asked him to stop, that was how they pushed him down and went away with his vehicle.
He alleged that “just last month here, a cab driver was kidnapped by gunmen along the Lugbe-Airport road and till today, nobody knows what has happened to the guy”.
A civil servant who identified herself as Miss Onome, also told our correspondent that some armed men attempted to abduct her after boarding a ‘one chance’ vehicle from Gwarimpa to Dei Dei on November 3.
“I closed from work on Monday last week and a colleague helped me in his vehicle from Area 1 to Gwarimpa. When he dropped and went to his house, I tried getting another taxi and in the process, a car just stopped beside me and asked where I was going.
“I told him that I was heading to Dei Dei and he asked me to enter with N200, when I got in, I found out that one woman was sitting at the front while another guy was at the back seat.
“Immediately we zoomed off, the one sitting next to me grasped my neck and the woman at the front also held my legs so that I wouldn’t raise an alarm. I was gasping for breath but they refused to leave me. I don’t know how it happened but I managed to pray.
“It was when I started praying that the woman in the front told the other guy that “I don’t think Alhaji will like this one” and they later stopped and pushed me down.
“When I dropped, I didn’t know where I was but I later found my way.
Mr Femi, a resident of Bwari Area Council also told DAILY POST that some armed men burgled his residence days ago and snatched his car.
“I traveled for an official assignment to Lagos State, so I left the car at home and decided to board a flight only for my wife to call me the following day that some armed men came into the house and took my Honda CRV away.
“I have reported it to the police but nothing has happened yet. I’m still waiting and praying for it to be recovered”, he said.
Following the deteriorating security situation in the territory, the House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 9 summoned the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, to appear before the house over the worsening insecurity in the nation’s capital.
The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance which was moved by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu,) on Tuesday.
Citing order 8 rule 4 of the House, Mr. Okechukwu called for an urgent need to arrest the worsening insecurity in Nigeria particularly the FCT.
In his motion, he said Abuja has never been this unsafe, noting that the insecurity is due to “influx of bandits and other criminals, lack of modern security infrastructure in the city centre and the satellite towns, and non-maintenance of available ones, including CCTV installations and as little as streetlights.”
Efforts by DAILY POST to reach the FCT police command to know what it is currently doing to ensure the protection of lives and properties of residents during the yuletide, proved abortive as the Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh could not take calls and was unable to respond to text messages forwarded to her.
However, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Abaji, had during a press briefing, assured FCT residents of the command’s “unwavering commitment toward the protection of lives and property within the Federal Capital Territory.”