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Over 87 FCT Residents Killed, 176 Kidnapped Under Tinubu – Research Study

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Since President Bola Tinubu took office on May 29, 2023, there have been more than 200 violent incidents reported in each of the Federal Capital Territory’s six local councils.

No less than 87 FCT citizens perished as a result of the occurrences, while 176 more were abducted during that time.

The data came from multiple media reports on violent assaults, including kidnappings and homicides in the Federal Capital Territory, as well as from Beacon Consulting, a local company that keeps an eye on security-related concerns in the nation.

Violent attacks in the country’s capital have increased since Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, took office on August 16, 2023.

An alarming increase in insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory has raised concerns among people and authorities. The nation’s capital, which was previously thought to be comparatively impervious to the security issues that were common in other regions of the nation, is currently dealing with an increasing number of criminal activities, including kidnapping.

Abuja was placed 11th out of places where abductions occur frequently in a 2020 assessment by SB Morgen, a startling admission of the changing security situation in the area.

Nearly 50 kidnapping instances involving over 200 people have been reported in Abuja during the past three years. Analyzing the data from January 2021 to June 2023, which shows about 40 registered cases with 236 victims, highlights how serious the problem is. In just the months of October and December 2023, there

These occurrences have happened throughout Abuja, not just in one place. They have happened at Gwagwalada Kuje, Lugbe, Pegi, Abaji, Keti, and Kwali, among other places. The fact that many incidents appear to go unreported by security services, enabling criminal elements to operate with impunity, is very worrisome.

The economic cost of the increasing instability is significant; during 2021 and 2022, confirmed ransom payments amounted to N653.7 million. The majority of the security issues are borne by the businesses and residents in the impacted areas, and the effects on day-to-day operations and economic activity are becoming more noticeable.

The most well-known event during the previous seven months is the kidnapping of seven people, six of whom were females, on January 5, 2024, in the Bwari Area Council.

The most recent instance involved the kidnapping of Cyril Adikwu’s wife and one of his in-laws on Thursday, January 18, at the Nigerian Army Post Housing Scheme in the Kurudu neighborhood of Abuja.

A victim’s neighbor said that the incident happened in the Phase 2 region of the estate at approximately ten o’clock at night.

Also, on January 7, 2024, 12 people were kidnapped by armed men from an estate in Abuja’s Bwari neighborhood.

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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 with one of our correspondents in an exclusive 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, told our correspondent 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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The scourge of abduction, which has strangulated social and economic activities in the North-East and the North-West, has spread nationwide as bandits and other criminal elements have moved their operations into major cities across the country, especially the FCT in recent times.

The hoodlums, who hitherto operated on highways and in rural communities, have in recent times escalated their attacks on residents of Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Kaduna and other urban centres.

Unveiling the SIS at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, Egbetokun said the alarming rise in criminal activities without equivocation demanded immediate and resolute action.

He noted that the approach of the police was comprehensive, adding that beyond immediate intervention, the SIS would also engage in community-oriented policing.

Egbetokun said, “As I stand before you today, I am imbued with a profound sense of duty as we confront the crisis of kidnapping and violent crimes presently afflicting our esteemed nation, particularly in and around the Federal Capital Territory.

“The alarming rise in these criminal activities without equivocation, demands immediate and resolute action from us all. It is thus with a determined spirit that I proudly announce the inauguration of the Special Intervention Squad.

“Conceived as an elite unit of the Nigeria Police Force, the SIS composed of specially trained, well equipped and highly mobile police officers, and possesses the capacity for rapid intervention and effective containment of significant security breaches, such as those currently threatening the suburb of the FCT and creating panic generally.

“This initiative is not just born out of necessity, but out of foresight, diligent planning and commitment to enhancing the already robust security architecture of our nation’s capital.”

Operatives of the SIS visited several villages and hamlets in the Bwari area of Abuja where there had been several attacks by insurgents over the past weeks.

One of our correspondents, who followed the operatives during the show of force, observed that the officers stormed Bwari with several Armoured Personnel Carriers, patrol vehicles and buses, and a helicopter.

The NPF had in late 2023 announced that the deployment of 40,000 operatives of the Special Intervention Squad who were undergoing training, would begin with Katsina and nine other states including the FCT.

The Force Headquarters also revealed that the proposed commanders, who would be in charge of the squad, would be trained in Mexico while noting that the deployment to the 10 carefully selected states was to pilot the activities of the SIS.

Following his assumption of office in June, Egbetokun announced the establishment of the SIS.

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He noted that the SIS would be a standby team of specially trained officers to quickly intervene in large insecurity occurrences, adding that it was part of the a priority in his administration’s endeavour to combat the threat of violent crime.

During a recent visit to Owerri, the Imo State capital, the IG stated that the other 27 states would immediately follow the 10 pilot states that were selected based on the recent violent crime assessment conducted in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Adejobi noted that the SIS would not operate like the defunct Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad which was notorious for human rights abuses.

The Force spokesperson also revealed that operatives of the SIS which were drawn from the Police Mobile Force would not be involved in escort duties, while noting that the squad’s commanders would operate under the command of commissioners of police in their respective states.

In June, Egbetokun announced plans to withdraw PMF personnel from VIP escort/guard duties.

The IG, who spoke during a meeting with squadron leaders and tactical commanders at the Force Headquarters, said the development was to allow the force to take back its place in the internal security architecture of the country.

Meanwhile, while clarifying the misunderstanding in regards to the IG’s directive concerning the proposed withdrawal of the PMF from specialised escort and services for VIPs, Adejobi noted that the NPF did not intend to strip VIPs (who are legally and statutorily entitled to police escorts) of their security details, noting that doing so would be unsafe and counterproductive.

He said, “Get the message right: We understand that there has been some misunderstanding regarding the directive of IGP Olukayode Egbetokun about withdrawing members of the Police Mobile Force unit from specialised escort and services for VIPs. It’s crucial to provide clarifications to address this.

“First and foremost, let us be clear: at no point did the Force intend to strip VIPs (who are legally and statutorily entitled to Police escorts) of their security details. Doing so would be unsafe and counterproductive. Instead, the objective is to reassign the withdrawn PMF personnel to the recently established Special Intervention Squad.”


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