President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday visited the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje attacked by terrorists, where he expressed disappointment with the nation’s intelligence system.
After inspecting some of the points impacted by the attack, Mr Buhari spoke to newsmen, expressing disappointment with the intelligence system and utilization.
He said: “I am disappointed with the intelligence system. How can terrorists organize, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?”
The president, who, like most Nigerians, was shocked by both the scale and audacity of the attack queried: “How did the defences at the prison fail to prevent the attack? How many inmates were in the facility?
“How many of them can you account for? How many personnel did you have on duty? How many of them were armed? Were there guards on the watchtower? What did they do? Does the CCTV work?” Question after question.
The president, who was on his way to Senegal, was also informed that the security forces had recaptured 350 of the escapees while about 450 others are still unaccounted for, and that rapid work is under way to recapture the rest.
Mr Buhari, accompanied by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff, said at the end of the visit that he is expecting “a comprehensive report” on the incident.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has dismissed the mounting criticism of the trip to Dakar, Senegal by the President.
Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman in a statement on Wednesday, stressed that: “Governments don’t stop working because nations face terrorist threats.
“To cancel the trip to Senegal would mean that the terrorists are successful in calling the shots, something that no responsible government in the world will allow.”
Also fielding questions on Tuesday’s attack on presidential convoy in Katsina State on Tuesday, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said no life threatening injuries was sustained by members of the convoy as being speculated.
He said: “You know, when a President travels almost anywhere in the world, there will be an advance team. That was the advance team that was going to Daura.
“The President himself is billed to travel to Senegal this afternoon (Wednesday) for an international conference, he will return to Abuja tomorrow, and thereafter proceed to his hometown, Daura for, Sallah.
“So, it was the advance team that was going ahead made up of security, protocol, media transport, all the departments that have one or two things to do with the President’s stay and comfort were the ones going ahead.
“So shortly before they reach their destination, around Dutsinma area, you know, that place is awash with banditry. So, it was said that some group of bandits came out of the forest and engaged them.
“Only two people were injured in the presidential convoy, one protocol person and one other lady. They were taken to an orthopedic hospital and I’m sure they have been attended to.
“It was not said to be a life threatening wound. But maybe the Katsina police command will give further reports which will be more on the spot then what you can say from Abuja here.’’
Mr Adesina said that the gallant soldiers and other security personnel on the trip successfully repelled the attack.