President Muhammadu Buhari says he is dissatisfied with the nation’s intelligence system and its application.
During a visit to the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, to examine the impact of Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the facility, the President directed an immediate, detailed report on the incident.
He questioned how the terrorists planned and conducted the assault and expressed outrage at the scope of the attack and the boldness of the perpetrators and questioned why the defences at the correctional facility were unable to stop the attack.
Preliminarily, he wanted to know how many people were in the facility and how many were accounted for; how many guards were on duty during the incident and how many were armed; and if there was an attempt to repel the attack.
In addition, he inquired whether the surveillance video was working.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, briefed him on the situation.
They informed the president that security forces had recaptured 350, while 450 remained unaccounted for and that efforts were underway to recapture them as soon as possible.
They indicated that a backup was made of all of the documents that were destroyed in the ensuing fire and that it was possible to retrieve them.
The President was accompanied by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
800 plus escaped
Chief superintendent of corrections at the Centre, said in a statement that 879 inmates escaped the facility during the attack.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 443 had been recaptured, 551 were still in jail, 443 inmates were still at large, 4 inmates were klled, and 16 were injured, he said.
He explained that the assailants used explosives to breach the Centre’s main entrance and perimeter fence, “killing a member of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attached to the Centre and badly injuring three personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service.”
Islamic States in West Africa Province (ISWAP) has claimed responsibility for the attack, in a video released by the Amaq News Agency.
Amaq News Agency is a news organisation affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) that has been labelled as a terrorist organisation by the United States.
Trip to Dakar, Senegal
In response to rising criticism of President Buhari’s trip to Senegal, the Presidency has emphasised that governments do not cease operations due to terrorist threats.
It contends that if the President’s trip is canceled, it would suggest that terrorists are calling the shots, and explains that no respectable government in the world would permit this.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Tina Oyinsan and Saadatu Albashir