Concerns have been raised in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, about the operations of ruthless gunmen who have been killing and abduct unsuspecting civilians.
The threat of a deteriorating security crisis that has engulfed the entire country, ranging from banditry, operations of mysterious shooters, and frequent skirmishes between farmers and ranchers in satellite areas, has not spared the nation’s capital.
Several neighborhoods in Abuja have been targeted by faceless criminal groups in less than 25 days, with the majority of the attacks going unreported.
On Sunday, September 6, unknown gunmen stormed the Pegi village in Kuje, Abuja, abducting one Mrs Bukola Oladapo and her two kids for ransom.
Residents said the attackers, armed with AK-47 rifles, stormed the fence of the victims’ house in the community’s resettlement section and pushed the doors open.
Similarly, on Friday, August 4, a father, Abdullahi Benda, and his 23-year-old son, Jibrin Abdullahi Benda, were kidnapped in Yangoji village in Abuja’s Kwali Area Council by criminal elements wielding heavy weapons.
On August 17, gunmen suspected of being kidnappers grabbed Esu Jibi, the village leader of Jibi community, Ibrah Dahiru Liman, and injured two vigilantes along the Dei-dei-Zuba Expressway in the nation’s capital.
Armed men also invaded the Dogon-Ruwa hamlet in the Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on August 19, capturing four persons and critically injuring another.
The recent spike in security crises in the FCT could be linked to the rising rate of banditry plaguing several neighboring states such as Niger, Kaduna, and others.
Meanwhile, the FCTA has declared that the first term for the 2021/2022 academic session would begin on September 19, 2021.
According to a statement made last week by the interim head of the Department of Quality Assurance of the Education Secretariat of the FCT Administration, while borders will reopen on Sunday, September 19, day students will reopen on Monday, September 20.
The acting education secretary’s term will conclude on Friday, December 17, 2021, according to a statement issued by Mrs. Uzoanya M.E.
Secondary schools in the area were supposed to start the new academic year 2021/2022 on September 6, 2021, as planned.
However, Mrs Uzoanya O, Director of Quality Assurance, Education Secretariat, stated to our correspondent in Abuja that the restart date was pushed back to allow students taking the 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination WASSCE to finish the exam and graduate.
According to her, schools in the territory are just starting their first term after being closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, and if the resumption is not shifted, those promoted to SS 3 may be stranded because the preceding class is still on the ground completing exams.
“We can’t have two SS 3 classes, so we’ll have to wait until those who are writing exams have covered at least a few subjects and are towards the finish of the exercise,” she explained.
However, as schools begin to reopen, the security situation in the region has caused some parents and guardians in the city to be concerned. This comes on the heels of bandit attacks on schools in a number of neighboring states, where scores of students have been kidnapped.
Mrs Mayowa Ademola, a trader in Wuse maker, told DAILY POST that she was relieved that schools were reopening, but she was concerned about probable attacks, as is the case in certain states, notably in the north.
She said, “It is a good thing that our children will soon resume to continue their learning but the truth is that there is insecurity everywhere. How are we sure that this criminal elements will not target our children? God forbid!
“I’m begging the security agencies in Abuja to please secure our children from the hand of these evil people”.
But speaking with DAILY POST, Mr Kasim Musa, the Public Relations Officer, FCT Education Secretariat said efforts are on top gear to ensure that students are secured in all schools across the territory.
He assured residents of adequate security in schools, stating that the FCTA is working with all security agencies and relevant stakeholders in the nation’s capital to block access to schools by kidnappers and other criminal elements.
“We are working with security operatives in FCT and local vigilantes to make sure that students and pupils are not attacked in schools. We have been doing this and its working for us. By God’s grace, we have not had any incident in any school here and we will not have,” he added.