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HURIWA bemoans robbery attacks in Abuja

…Says police officers commercialise services

By Mike Odiakose

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Sunday, bemoaned the rising spate of robberies and kidnapping by bandits in the Federal Capital territory Abuja in the last few weeks.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the security apparatus of the nation’s political capital has been compromised and policemen who are supposed to stem the tide have unfortunately commercialized their services to the highest bidder.

The group called for a rejig of the entire security architecture of the FCT and sought a strict punishment for police officers who commercialise their services to secure places and persons they have been heavily paid to do so.

Recall that on Friday, armed robbers numbering about 30 invaded the Wuse 2 area of Abuja and robbed about 15 flats in Agadez Crescent for several hours without help.

Also, bandits last Monday attacked the Efab Mini-Estate inside the bigger Genuine Estate in Abuja, operated from 1am to 4am, and kidnapped a number of residents.

Similarly, terrorists attacked the Kuje prison on Tuesday and freed over 600 inmates including scores of Boko Haram members.

Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Robbers, kidnappers, terrorists are now operating freely inside Abuja municipal as police and soldiers guard only houses whereby their services were contracted and paid and leave the unprotected houses where hundreds of thousands of residents are to be on their own.

“There is no gainsaying that the security architecture of Abuja has failed and the political authority beginning from President Muhammadu Buhari who by law is the governor of Abuja and the Minister of FCT have nothing to give to stave off these attacks. Even AsoRock Presidential Area was in the last one year compromised when suspected robbers invaded the houses of two top personal aides of President Muhammadu Buhari including his Chief of Staff.

“The heightened insecurity in the political capital have implications on the status of Abuja globally because foreign nationals will now no longer be comfortable visiting and foreign direct investments will inevitably dry up as the risk of staying in Abuja jumps up.

“HURIWA urges the government to set up strong oversight body in place of police service commission to punish police officers who are usually posted to do commercialised security jobs at private houses.

“HURIWA also call for the comprehensive reorganisation of the political and policing structures of Abuja to effectively battle this scourge of crime in the FCT.

“More men should be recruited into the police force to serve Abuja because the truth is that FCT is not adequately secured as the few policemen in Abuja are all attached to politicians and moneybags.

“Enough of the eyeservice by the President and all the service chiefs on the Kuje invasion by terrorists. HURIWA demands the liberalisation of arms’ ownership by mentally sane and crime-free adults. They should be given licence to bear arms for self defence because as Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle; and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said, self-defence is inevitable at this point.”

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