The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned Tuesday’s attack on the University of Abuja by bandits, who abducted four members of staff and some children in the institution, saying the fact that such a development could happen under President Muhammadu Buhari’s security precincts was shocking.
The party, however, described the attack as cowardly and demanded an unconditional release of the victims to reunite with their families members.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, while frowning at the abduction during a pre-dawn raid on the University staff quarters at Giri, Gwagwalada Area Council, however, assured the people that rescue would come soon.
Also, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, who has asked members of the public to pray for God’s intervention, declared that the nation was definitely bleeding and that the invasion on the university community was too close home.
On his part, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has lamented that criminals operating in the country were modernised unlike the nation’s security agencies, whom he said much changed their archaic mode of operations and modernise too.
The PDP, in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the raid, which occurred within the precincts of the president’s immediate security purview, just 16 kilometers from the Aso Presidential Villa, as shocking and further showed the helplessness and failures of his administration.
“With this act of banditry in Abuja, Nigerians expect President Buhari, in line with his promise to lead from the fronts, to straightaway give himself a ‘marching order’ to rescue the victims, just as gives to others whenever there are cases of security failures in commands outside of his security precincts,” the statement read in part.
Charging the security agencies not to relent in the face of the failures of the Buhari administration but rise up to the occasion, track down the bandits and rescue the victims, the party lamented the persistent insecurity in the nation and urged all the citizens to be at alert and assist security agencies in their genuine efforts to secure the country under an incompetent administration.
The PDP enjoined Nigerians to continue to pray for the safety and freedom of all compatriots languishing in their abductors’ den, while tasking governments at all levels to rise up to the occasion and devise more efficient strategies of securing the nation.
The FCT minister, while commenting on the development, also urged security agencies to ensure that the six people, including a senior lecturer of the university, Prof. Bassey Ubom, his son and daughter, abducted by the hoodlums from the university’s staff quarters were rescued from their abductors.
A statement by the minister’s spokesman, Anthony Ogunleye, claimed that, patrol teams of security personnel made up of the military, police, local vigilante and the university’s security officials, were currently on the trail of the hoodlums, adding that concerted efforts were being made to provide adequate security for all institutions of learning in the Territory.
He assured members of the university community that the government would do all that was necessary to ensure the safe return of the abductees, even as he called on members of the public to always support and cooperate with the security agencies, whenever the need arose.
Other abducted persons were Prof Joseph Obanza, Malam Sambo Mohammed and Dr Tobit.
But the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, has asked members of the public to pray hard for God’s intervention.
In a statement, Na’Allah said the school authority would continue to mobilise everything within its means to guarantee the protection of staff and students and ensure the infraction never happens again.
“They brought their devastation to our Giri Quarters and we are pursuing them with all it takes to recover our dearest ones they kidnapped. Our nation is definitely bleeding and this is too close home for us!
“Please pray hard for God’s intervention. One thing is certain, we shall continue to mobilise everything available to us to protect staff and students and ensure this never happens again.
“The safety unit has my instruction to turn anyone back who cannot explain their mission on our campus, Quarters or any UniAbuja branches even if they claim to be staff or students.Only University ID card worn on them is a guarantee for entry. We shall overcome!” Na’Allah said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the opening of a 3-day anti-money laundering and combating terrorism capacity building for the Ministry of Interior and its agencies in Abuja, said, “We must upgrade our strategies”, because the criminals are in the 22nd century in evolvement of crimes while the nation’s security agencies are in the 18th century of crime fighting.
He said time has come for the government to build the capacities of the law enforcement agencies in the country to be able to continually combat the threats of criminal elements and secure the nation.
He lamented that the rise in terrorism and banditry in the country could be traced to the availability of illicit fund gotten from money laundering, which meant that to put a nail to these, battle should be waged and won against money laundering,
“It is in the light of this, that the ministry and its agencies, in conjunction with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, is conducting this workshop, as part of a series of measures to build capacity and effective communication networks among policy, regulatory and law enforcement agencies, in order to strengthen the anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism regime in the country.
“In this regard, the Ministry, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and indeed the Nigerian Correctional Service all have key roles to play in efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Our target is to ensure that relevant services in the ministry develop a cadre of professionals in AML/CFT.”
“Experience has shown that these funds are also used to undermine economic, social and political stability through funding of terrorism and terrorist related activities. As terrorism, banditry and other serious cross border crimes continue to proliferate, law enforcement agencies and regulators must work together to prevent, identify, punish and deter financial crimes.
“It is, therefore, necessary to continue to take appropriate measures to enhance the capacities of our law enforcement agencies for high profile investigation and diligent prosecution, in order to meet global standards for protecting the integrity of our financial system and prevent it from being used as a safe haven for the movement of illicit funds,” he said.
Chuks Okocha, Michael Olugbode and Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja