From IKENNA EMEWU and MOLLY KILETE, Abuja
Less than 48 hours after the embarrassing attack and release of Boko Haram detainees allegedly by their members, information has continued to turn in that there must have been an insider job in the act. Sources within and outside the police formation who spoke in anger but would not like their identities disclosed, questioned why the police would be overpowered in such a way and in a neighbourhood where there were so many security agency offices.
“There are many security outfits around the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) head office. I worked in the police for 32 years before retirement. In fact, I worked many years in Abuja and everyone that knows the vicinity would always wonder why the attack was carried out without re-enforcement from the Police Force Headquarters that is off the road where SARS has its office.
“Moreover, these high powered attacks are not planned overnight. So how did the arms get into Abuja without anybody detecting them? How did the attackers drive all the way to the place they struck without anyone spotting or stopping them? They struck and left unimpeded. It really sounds ridiculous, so the high command of the police should ask themselves questions and know who among them must have let out information that made the attackers head straight to the cell where Boko Haram suspects were locked to release them.”
“The police high command should be questioned on what actually happened. We should be informed on those big boys in the force from the Force Headquarters that have sympathy for Boko Haram. And this is not the first time the Boko Haram is beating the police to the game inside Abuja and right under their nose. June last year, they bombed the police head office, some months after, sometime in October, the suspect in the Madalla church bombing on Christmas day escaped. Since he was recaptured, we have not heard what happened to him.
So the Federal Government should ask the Inspector-General what is happening. Do we attribute this to laxity or sabotage?” Another source, a serving police officer that also pleaded anonymity expressed concern over the incident and wondered why the nation’s intelligence had remained unimpressive that terrorists attack at will and escape unhurt. In a phone chat with the Executive Director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Mr. Clement Nwankwo, he also expressed worries that “the government has not done much to disabuse the minds of the citizens that it is almost incapable of handling the security challenge.
“If attackers, no matter who they are could storm the SARS head office the manner they did and freed detainees as we heard, that raises the fear that any day they feel like taking on the State House nothing will stop them.” Another source blamed the police for not heeding the warning from better intelligence gathering sources.
On “Thursday last week, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley warned that although the Boko Haram had not struck on anything belonging to them or the international community, but US still remained on high alert for their attack any time. “In the past, most times they (international intelligence) warned of imminent attacks, they happened.
The attacks on the UN Building, Force Headquarters, Madalla Church, and so many others were forewarned by international intelligence, and Nigeria with poor intelligence never took precaution. Now, it happened three days inside Jaji, a military formation and just some hours later, it was at the police headquarters. This is really discouraging.”