In recent months, the Federal Capital Territory has witnessed an upsurge in crime, a situation that has attracted the attention of the security agencies. EMMANUEL ONANI reports
The Nigeria Police is the lead agency in crime fighting and prevention. As a matter of fact, the Police’s vision had been: “To make Nigeria safer and more secure for economic development and growth; to create a safe and secure environment for everyone living in Nigeria”.
How much of this vision has been cascaded to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, within the context of fighting crime and criminality within and around the city?
A cross section of residents of the FCT, who spoke with Inside Abuja, showed “loss of confidence” in the crime-fighting capacity of the Police, in the face of prevailing realities.
In separate encounters, the consensus was that: criminal elements in the mould of armed robbers, car-snatchers, ‘one chance’, ritualists among other violent characters, now violate the city’s otherwise impregnable sanctity with audacious impunity.
The case of two female lawyers
Two female lawyers were the first to tell their distasteful tales of woes occasioned by the state of insecurity in the FCT.
Barrister Paulyn (surname withheld) said: “I was done for the day and since I didn’t drive, I stopped at Area 11 junction (by Total Filling Station), to board a vehicle to Masaka.
“About twenty minutes after, a Golf car with just a male occupant pulled over, with echo of ‘Masaka Masaka’.
“I boarded, and shortly after take-off, the supposed ‘passenger’ brought out a knife that shone like a spotless glass, and threatened to kill me if I dared to scream.
“Throughout the period they drove me to their den, there was no single policeman on the road, at least to boost my courage, to scream for help.
“My brother, I was lucky that they only took my expensive phone and all the cash I had in my bag.”
Another female lawyer, who gave her name simply as Beauty, narrated her ordeal thus: “I had a matter at Zone 2 Magistrate Court last week and like other learned colleagues, I parked my car around the court’s vicinity and went in.
“Within a space of an hour, I got back to find that my handbag, which I had hidden in the car, had been stolen with other valuable items.
“Please, help tell the police to wake up to the sorry state of security in Abuja.”
How we got robbed around minister’s hill (Anonymous):
Another victim of armed robbery, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of the unknown, said: “We were returning home through the single end of the Kubwa – Abuja expressway, when our car showed a sign of malfunction.
“We stopped to check and like a bolt from the blue, some thieves numbering about four, emerged from one of the known forests there, and dispossessed us of all valuable items. We were lucky to return home alive.”
Inside Abuja was told how a man, who parked his car within the Diamond area (Wuse 11), returned to find, that “his car had been burgled, and an i-pad and other items stolen.
The reports are endless! Another ugly story was told of how a couple riding in a sports utility vehicle (SUV) to Games Village, had the side glass shattered with a metal, while waiting to be passed at the traffic light junction.
Just when you thought it was abating, came this one from CITEC Estate, where a resident complained of an attack on his way back home.
“My brother, these boys hit and collected everything I had on me without help from any policeman”, a visibly angry victim said.
Hear another victim: “I parked my car about 300 metres away from Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama.
“Guess what I saw barely 30 minutes after? They had taken down the glass of my car, and bolted with my laptop and other expensive items.”
About a week ago, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Command, Mr. Sadiq Bello, had made public the discovery of an illegal arms factory somewhere in Zuba.
In the face of the growing disruptions, however, the Police had sued for collaboration, with a view to fighting crimes, especially incidents of car theft.
“As a result of the seeming rise in cases of theft of motor vehicles within FCT, especially the ones that are easily removed from where parked, the FCT Police Command is poised to take necessary action to stem the tide of the menace.
“The Command is going to embark on vigorous stop and search along the highways as such members of the public are hereby advised to always have proof of ownership of their cars in their possession to avoid embarrassment”, the Command had said in a statement.
In the wake of the discovery of the illegal arms factory, the CP had, while addressing some journalists, said: “Following intelligence and discreet Police investigation, operatives of the Command have uncovered an illegal firearm fabricating factory located around Shenagu village near Zuba.
“During a raid on the factory, three suspects were arrested. They include the owner of the factory, Philip John, the supplier of ammunitions, Mr Onyegabueze Okpara and the distributor of the arms, one Joseph Bulus”.
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