President Muhammadu Buhari has raised a number of questions with the authority of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, including the failure of intelligence, which he said facilitated the attack of the facility on Tuesday.
Buhari raised the questions when he visited the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, on Wednesday, 6 July, 2022.
TheFact Daily reports that the president was briefed about the attack by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Mohammad Lamido Belgore, and the Controller General of Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, who showed him the bombed-out section used to access first, and the records office which was set on fire.
He was told that the invaders thereafter launched an attack on all cells in which Boko Haram terrorists were held.
According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), the president was told that none of the 63 terrorists are accounted for. However, records have been backed up and so are not lost.
The statement said President Buhari was shocked by both the scale and audacity of the attack, and 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 was also informed that the security forces have recaptured 350 of the escapees while about 450 others are still unaccounted for, and that rapid work is underway to recapture the rest.
“I am disappointed with the intelligence system. How can terrorists organize, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?” Buhari queried while speaking to newsmen.
The President who was accompanied by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff, said at the end of the visit that he is expecting “a comprehensive report” on the incident.
Garba, reacting to mounting criticism of the trip to Dakar, Senegal by the President, said on behalf of the presidency 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”, Garba said.