Sequel to the security threat to Nigeria’s capital city, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has ordered all schools in the territory to close for the term on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
The order is coming immediately after the Federal Ministry of Education ordered the immediate closure of one of its Unity Colleges, the Federal Government College (FGC) Kwali, located in Kwali Area Council of the federal capital territory.
The FCTA, in a circular issued yesterday through the Education Secretariat, told parents and guardians that the 2021/2022 Academic Calendar for FCT School would come to an end on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
The circular advised all parents and guardians to remark the date and ensure their children are conveyed home in good time from the school premises.
A senior member of staff of the FCT Education Secretariat, who preferred anonymity, said the directive may not be unconnected to the rising security threat from terrorists who may want to attack schools in the territory.
“Whether the circular is coming because of the threat of terrorists or not, the academic calendar for the term is ending on Wednesday, but there is also the need for the government and everybody to take precaution, because of rumours of planned terrorist attacks which have not been substantiated.
“However, since the circular did not specify that, apart from the end of the academic calendar, the issue of insecurity was part of urgently sending out the circular, common sense will tell you that as far as the minister of education has ordered the closure of Government Secondary School in Kwali, the FCTA should follow suit,” he said.
Also, the Federal Ministry of Education has ordered the immediate closure of one of its Unity Colleges, the Federal Government College (FGC) Kwali, located in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The decision was taken after a reported terrorist attack on the neighbouring Sheda community in the Area Council, which is close to the college.
LEADERSHIP reports that gunmen, suspected to be bandits, attacked Sheda community in the early hours of Sunday, kidnapping a resident.
The director of press at the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, said in a press statement that security had been beefed up in the Unity Colleges across the country.
He said, “Education Minister,Adamu Adamu, who gave the directive in the early hours of this morning, said the closure became necessary following a security breach at Sheda and Lambata Villages, suburbs of Kwali Area Council which also threatened Federal Government College (FGC), Kwali.
“According to the minister, the timely intervention of security agencies saved the situation.?Adamu Adamu also directed that arrangements should be made for final year students to conclude their NECO examinations.
“The minister has also directed principles of Unity Colleges across the country to liaise with security agencies within their jurisdictions in order to forestall any security breach in our schools,” he added.
Meanwhile, some residents in the community have confirmed that there were gunshots which lasted almost an hour and that a resident kidnapped in Sheda area of Abuja.
Speaking in an interview with LEADERSHIP, a staff member of the college and resident of Sheda, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said there was panic in the area but that some of the students were still in the school due to ongoing NECO examination.
She said, “There is fear; the attack did not occur in the school but very close to the school. In the village called Sheda in the early hours of Sunday morning, they kidnapped someone there.
“Some children have gone home but some are still in school because SS3 students are currently writing NECO examinations.”
The chairman, Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, has lamented that insecurity in the nation is causing more chaos in terms of the number of out-of-school children.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on the rising attacks, Eyakenyi called for proper fencing of all public schools in the country.
She said, “What do we have to do as government, as parents, as Nigerians that have money? It is the responsibility of the government to ensure at least the public schools are properly fenced and the gate properly constructed?
3 Soldiers Wounded As Military Repels Terrorist Attack In FCT
Meanwhile, three soldiers were wounded yesterday when terrorists attacked troops on routine patrol along Kubwa-Bwari Road.
Intelligence reports confirmed that the terrorists had lain siege on the Federal Capital Territory with intent to attack the Law School in Bwari and other government facilities.
Military sources told LEADERSHIP that the attack was a confirmation of terrorists’ siege on the city but authorities said they were on the trail of the assailants.
A military source said that on Monday, troops of 7 Guards Battalion on routine patrol along Kubwa – Bwari road were ambushed by suspected terrorists Inman attack that injured soldiers who were promptly evacuated to a hospital for treatment.
He said, “The ambush that happened within the general area of Bwari shows that the terrorists are actually within the location and possibly want to carry out their plans of attacking the law school in Bwari as earlier reported.”
When contacted, the assistant director, Army Public Relations, Guards Brigade, Captain Godfrey Abakpa, confirmed that the soldiers were attacked but that they repelled it successfully.
He added that the wounded soldiers had been evacuated to a medical facility and were receiving treatment.
Families Of Train Attack Passengers Shut Down Transport Ministry
Families of the abducted Kaduna train passengers yesterday shut activities at the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Abuja.
The families, who were at the ministry as early as 8am, said they came to find out what the government was doing to rescue the remaining 41 passengers abducted over four months ago.
Speaking to journalists, one of the family members of a captive, Hadiza Mohammad, said it was unfair that after 121 days, the federal government had not found any meaningful ways of rescuing the remaining victims.
She wondered why the people in government, especially the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, had remained silent.
Also, Imran Ahmed, whose brother has also been in captivity, said they had lost faith in the government’s commitment to rescue their loved ones.
Similarly, Aisha Musa, mother of an abductee, Hafsat Abdullahi, who is being held captive with her two-year-old child, narrated her ordeal.
“When her children saw the video yesterday, the first son fainted. Now he is in the hospital. When this thing happened, we thought she was dead. We did not hear from them since they said they killed some. We went to Forty-four hospital in Kaduna.They gave us a list of those who were dead and accident victims. She was not among the corpses in the mortuary.
LEADERSHIP reports that about 11:45am, the minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, came to address the protesters, saying that he had just resumed office and would require sometime to address the issue.
The minister also requested the contacts of the affected families and promised to be in communication with them henceforth.
He said, “My first intention was to hold a dialogue with you and empathise with you. The government is made up of individuals;we have families,,we feel for the families of this unfortunate incident”
Terrorists Release 4 More Kidnapped Train Passengers
Meanwhile, four more kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna train passengers have regained their freedom from terrorists who kidnapped them alongside several others on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Three of them were released yesterday, according to a source privy to the negotiations leading to their freedom from the terrorists’ den while the fourth person was released about six days ago.
The freed kidnap victims include Oluwatoyin Ojo, Hassan Lawan and Pastor Ayodeji Oyewumi, while Mrs Gladys Brumen was earlier released days ago.
Hassan was one of the kidnap victims who spoke in the latest video released by the terrorists on Saturday, where he called on the international community to come to their aid.
The trio’s release comes about 48 hours after the terrorists released their latest video where they were seen flogging their captives, drawing widespread anger and outrage among Nigerians.
LEADERSHIP reports that 24 of the passengers have been released so far in six batches, beginning with the managing director of the Bank of Agriculture, Hassan Alwan, who was released a few days after the attack after allegedly paying N100 million ransom.
The terrorists later released a pregnant woman after which a Kaduna-based publisher and media consultant to Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi, Malam Tukur Mamu, became the lead negotiator with the terrorists for the release of the remaining passengers.
Mamu led negotiations for the release of 18 of the passengers in two batches. 11 were released on June 11, 2022 and another group of seven passengers was released on July 9, 2022 and reunited with their families.
However, the terrorists subsequently threatened to kill the remaining hostages except the federal government meet their demands, including releasing their detained fighters both convicted and those awaiting trial.
The Boko Haram terrorists later attacked the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Abuja, releasing hundreds of inmates including 69 of them facing terrorism charges.
The latest released tree passengers have arrived in Kaduna and will be reunited with their families shortly.
Northern Youths Say No Election In Region Without Release of Captives
Meanwhile, as the victims of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna-bound train marked 120 days in captivity, which was celebrated by the terrorist through a new video released by them in which they victims were being tortured, the Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) has issued a strong warning to the federal government, saying there will be no election in the northern region if the abducted passangers and other kidnaped victims are not released.
Similarly, the youth assembly said communities under the control of the terrorist must also be liberated.
This is just as the Assembly also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the national security adviser, General Babagana Monguno (rtd) for failing in his responsibilities of advising the government on security matters effectively.
In a statement issued in Kaduna and signed by Mohammed Salihu Danlami, Speaker, AYA, the Assembly said it shared the pain and agony of the immediate families and friends of those in captivity, and prayed God to intervene through His supernatural powers and set them free.
The Assembly further said it strongly believes that if the amount of monies budgeted for security and defence were deployed for such purposes, “the largely wretched souls in our bushes wouldn’t have been able to withstand our armed forces for just three days.
PDP Calls For Special National Council Of State Meeting
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday called for the convening of a special National Council of State meeting over the spate of insecurity in the country, stressing that President Muhammadu Buhari has come to his wits’ end.
The PDP, while reacting to the viral video of bandits subjecting kidnapped victims of Kaduna/Abuja train terrorist attack, said the situation showed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had irretrievably failed the nation.
PDP national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said the emotional toll of this sad incident on the victims, their families and the entire nation cannot be quantified, particularly on the younger generations who witnessed the humiliation of their parents and breadwinners in such gruesome circumstances.
He added that the situation will have generational consequences on the emotional and psychological makeup of young persons with the possibility that they will lose faith in the nation and the capacity for empathy.
The PDP spokesman recalled that PDP had on various occasions alerted that the APC government had ceded sovereignty over a large portion of the country to terrorists, many of whom were imported into the country by the ruling APC.
He however insisted that Nigeria must not be allowed to fall.
“The resilient Nigerian spirit and “can-do attitude” must be rekindled by all to prevail on the president to immediately and without further delay accede to the demand by the PDP and other well-meaning Nigerians to convene a special session of the National Council of State to find a lasting solution since the president has, in his own admission, come to his wits’ end,” he said.
He added that from the video, the brazen non-state actors boldly showed their faces, boasting, admitting and confirming their participation in the Kuje Prison break, some of whom were former prison inmates either jailed or awaiting trial for their previous terrorist acts against the country.
He said, “Between 2020 and 2022, about 18,000 Nigerians have been killed by terrorists who continue to be emboldened by the failures and obvious complicity of the APC and to which the PDP had always drawn attention.
“This is not politics; this is about humanity and leadership, which leadership sadly and unfortunately is missing in our country at this time.”
He added that PDP was appalled by the lame response by the Presidency, wherein it told an agonizing nation that President Buhari “has done all and even more than what was expected of him as Commander-in-Chief by way of morale, material and equipment support to the military…”
“This is a direct admission of incapacity and failure by the Buhari Presidency and the APC. At such a time, in other climes, the President directly leads the charge and takes drastic measures to rescue and protect his citizens.
“In time of adversity, the president transmutes into Consoler-in-Chief to give hope and succour to the citizens. Painfully, Nigeria does not have a President who cares and can stand as Consoler-in-Chief to the citizens.”
The PDP spokesman added that it had now become very imperative for Nigerians to hold the APC government accountable.
“We must come together as a people, irrespective of our political, ethnic and religious affiliations, to resist the fascist-leaning tendencies of the APC administration,” he said.