Terrorists ambush Guards Brigade in Abuja, forces closure of schools

Barely 24 hours after terrorists, who hijacked the Kaduna-bound train released a video, where they threatened to kidnap President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, insecurity fears heightened at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), leading to the immediate closure of all unity schools in Abuja.

This was after three soldiers sustained injuries in an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists in Bwari Area Council of the FCT. The soldiers from the elite Guards Brigade guarding the FCT as well as the presidential seat of government were ambushed along Bwari Kubwa road, while on patrol of Bwari Area where the Nigerian Law School and the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) is located.

The Guards Brigade is in charge of the security of the President, his entire family, the Vice President, Very Important Personalities (VIP), the Federal Capital Territory and its surrounding states. This would be the first direct encounter between terrorists and the Brigade of Guards in Abuja.

The soldiers from 7 Guards Battalion, who have been carrying out patrol in the town following intelligence report of an impending attack on the Nigerian Law School, came under heavy fire around the Kubwa-Bwari road.

The wounded soldiers have been moved to the 7 Guards Medical centre, where they are currently receiving treatment and are in stable condition.

The signal message on the attack reads: “Troops on routine patrol along Kubwa-Bwari were ambushed by suspected terrorists. Three soldiers were injured during the attack. The soldiers have been evacuated for medical attention. Details on the extent of their injuries are still under confirmation. The ambush attack happening within the general area of Bwari shows that the terrorists are actually within the location and possibly preparing to carry out their plans to attack the law school in Bwari as earlier reported.”

When contacted, the spokesperson of the Guards, Captain Godfrey Anebi Abakpa, confirmed the attack but declined further comments.

It was earlier reported that while responding to potential terror attacks in the nation’s capital following a security alert by the FCT command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) that the insurgents were planning to attack schools, churches and public infrastructure, the Brigade of Guards had deployed troops at the entry and exit points in Abuja, for a more effective security of the seat of power, with soldiers intensifying stop and search operations at increased checkpoints.

YESTERDAY, the Federal Ministry of Education, taking a cue from intelligence reports, directed the immediate closure of all unity schools domiciled in the FCT, while ordering immediate evacuation of students.

While some schools had directed students to vacate latest on Wednesday, July 27, other schools disseminated messages to parents asking them to come pick their children, yesterday, without a fail, due to rising fear and anxiety emanating from reported threats.

On Sunday night, unconfirmed reports trended on social media indicating that there was heavy shootings around Federal Government College (FGC) Kwali, Abuja, and parents had rushed to the school to ascertain the safety of their children and possibly return home with them until calm is restored.

Confirming the report, the Director Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education, Ben. Bem Goong, noted that the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, gave the directive in the early hours of Monday.

According to him, “the closure became necessary following a security breach on Sheda and Lambata villages, suburbs of Kwali Area Council, which also threatened 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.

ABDUCTORS of Kaduna-Abuja train victims have released four from the remaining 43 victims in their custody. The terrorists had, on Sunday, flogged the 43 victims. The victims, who consist of two males and two females, secured their freedom around 11:00a.m. yesterday with their relatives picking them up at a location inside the forest along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

Terrorists had taken hostage 62 passengers of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28.

Security operatives and the Kaduna State government are yet to issue any statement regarding the development.

The publisher of Desert Herald, Tukur Mamu, gave the names of the released victims as Gladys Brumen, Oluwa Toyin Ojo, Hassan Usman Lawal and Pastor Ayodeji Oyewumi.

Lawal was the lead speaker in Sunday’s viral video, pleading with the international community to secure their freedom. It was gathered that his release was effected yesterday after N100 million was paid by his family members. He has since joined his family at Unguwar Rimi area of Kaduna metropolis.

According to a family member, “my elder brother paid N50 million, while friends and sympathisers paid the remaining balance. We are happy to see him back after four months. On behalf of our family, we thank Nigerians for their prayers and support during this most difficult times.

“We never envisaged we will see him alive, especially when we saw him on the video yesterday. We couldn’t sleep. We were all awake praying fervently for their release. We will pray for the release of the remaining ones who are still in their captivity.

“Right now, we are on our way to hospital so that he will be properly be examined,” he added.

EARLIER, families of the train attack victims, yesterday, laid siege at the entrance of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, blocking staff from accessing the office complex.

The protesters, who arrived the ministry as early as 7:00a.m. lamented the prolonged silence of the government despite their outcry.

The renewed protest was sparked by the viral video where the victims were been flogged, while the women and children were watching and crying.

One of the family members said they got a voice note from the bandits demanding N100 million to be paid for the release of their loved ones, but unfortunately, the negotiator said he had hands off from the matter due to insincerity on the part of the government.

They demanded to know why wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who is considered to be the mother of the nation, has not commented on the unfortunate incident since it happened.

They condemned her prolonged silence, saying when Chibok girls were kidnapped in Borno State, the then first lady came out and cried for the release of the girls.

Hajiya Hadiza, said: “What is the first lady doing? Is she not a mother or even grandmother and she has not for once come out to speak on this matter, rather she is canvassing for women to come out to contest.”

The Permanent Secretary, Magdalene Ajani, initially said she felt their pain, because her sister was also kidnapped in the ill-fated train, but she was, however, countered by the victims’ families that her sister had since been released

She, however, pointed out that the ministry is in constant talks with the security agents and the negotiators have been busy for the past three weeks.

She urged families of the victims to channel their demand to the security agencies who are in the right position to give them the information they need.

The Minister, Sambo Mua’zu, in his response, said he is just resuming and was yet to get briefing on the matter. He said before he resumed, he had asked the Permanent Secretary to dialogue with the families.

“But I want to beg you one thing. I have just resumed and I’m going to receive the necessary briefings this morning. I want you to give me some time. In the meantime, I want contact names and addresses with telephone numbers that I can reach. I assure you that we’re going to be in constant engagement until this matter is sorted out and until every single person in captivity goes back home.”

BANDIT kingpin, Abu Sanni, in a documentary released, yesterday, by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye, said insecurity in Nigeria has become a business everyone, including the government benefits from.

Yusuf Anka, a journalist, who crisscrossed remote bandit enclaves in the state, undertook the 50 minutes documentary titled The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara.

The BBC documentary sheds light on the mindset of bandit leaders, the booming nature of the kidnap-for-ransom business and how insecurity in Zamfara State may have been triggered by ethnic conflict between Hausa and Fulani groups.

The bandits who spoke with the BBC team accused the government of neglecting them and giving priority to the Hausa community.

Sanni said the 279 schoolgirls who were kidnapped on February 27, 2021 in Jangebe, Talata-Mafara Local Council area of Zamfara State by his gang was done to disgrace the government as revenge for sending the military after them.

He said his gang demanded N300 million from government for the release of the schoolgirls but N60 million was paid.

“When the rainy season ended, they sent the military after us. We decided to show the government they should not interfere in our problems. We went to Jangebe and took the students. We wanted to get the government angry,” he said.

“We demanded N300 million but after negotiations, N60 million was paid for their release.”

When asked what the money for the ransom was used for, he said the proceed was spent on buying riffles.
“Everyone is benefiting from terrorism in Nigeria, including the government, from top to bottom. The government get money, though, for our money, blood spill.”

BANDIT kingpin, Abu Sanni, in a documentary released, yesterday, by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye, said insecurity in Nigeria has become a business everyone, including the government benefits from.

Yusuf Anka, a journalist, who crisscrossed remote bandit enclaves in the state, undertook the 50 minutes documentary titled The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara.

The BBC documentary sheds light on the mindset of bandit leaders, the booming nature of the kidnap-for-ransom business and how insecurity in Zamfara State may have been triggered by ethnic conflict between Hausa and Fulani groups.

The bandits who spoke with the BBC team accused the government of neglecting them and giving priority to the Hausa community.

Sanni said the 279 schoolgirls who were kidnapped on February 27, 2021 in Jangebe, Talata-Mafara Local Council area of Zamfara State by his gang was done to disgrace the government as revenge for sending the military after them.

He said his gang demanded N300 million from government for the release of the schoolgirls but N60 million was paid.

“When the rainy season ended, they sent the military after us. We decided to show the government they should not interfere in our problems. We went to Jangebe and took the students. We wanted to get the government angry,” he said.

“We demanded N300 million but after negotiations, N60 million was paid for their release.”

When asked what the money for the ransom was used for, he said the proceed was spent on buying riffles.
“Everyone is benefiting from terrorism in Nigeria, including the government, from top to bottom. The government get money, though, for our money, blood spill.”

Source: Guardian

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