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Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, has said the attackers of the Kuje Prison in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, succeeded because the Army and Police personnel charged to secure the prison could not effectively discharge their duty.
He said this in a statement issued on Friday, during a visit to the facility by the management of the ministry and its sister agencies to ascertain the extent of damage done by the terrorists.
Aregbesola asked for cross-institutional collaboration to forestall future attacks and promised to arrest the perpetrators of the attack and the escaped inmates.
He 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 recalled that since April 2021, all correctional facilities were declared red zones, saying “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.”
The minister expressed regret over the incident, stating that what was being experienced as a nation was the fall out of the success of the war in the North-East.
He added, “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.”