Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, has stated that the Army and Police who is responsible for the protection of Kuje Prison couldn’t hold their position effectively and delligently for defence, and that was the reason for the breach.
He revealed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja when he led the management of the ministry and its agencies on an inspection to visit the centre that was recently attacked by gunmen suspected to be terrorists.
He called for cross-institutional collaboration to prevent future attacks and also assuredly told Nigerians that the inmates who escaped will be captured and brought back to the prison.
The Minister said: “There is a platoon of the Nigerian Army with sophisticated weapons, the Nigeria Police Force, officers of the NSCDC, and armed officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service on ground during the time of the attack.
“We have a world-class facility here by any standard. I am disappointed with the level of defence.
“We have enough men to protect this facility, but unfortunately, they couldn’t hold their position effectively for defence, and that was the reason for the breach.”
He brought to the remembrance of reporters that since April 2021, all correctional facilities were declared red zones, stating
“Now my position is so clear, I have declared since April 2021 that all our facilities are red zones and that whoever attempts an attack may not live to tell the story. I still maintain this.
“Kuje is the most fortified in the country. It is medium by size but maximum by the security being put there. We have a platoon of security officers deployed here.”
He furthered that there was a high grade of military and police and other security forces deployed for protection but, something strange happened, most of which could not be said on camera, but belives those who escaped can only run but can not hide.
The minister, expressed regret over the attack, stated that what was being experienced as a nation was the fall out of the success of the war in the North-East.
In more of his speaking, he said Nigeria was experiencing asymmetric warfare and that the insurgents have been degraded in the North-East.
He said, “We have 61,000 of them in our custody in the North-East; the result of the effectiveness itself in degrading them in the North-East is what we are experiencing.”