Written by Chuks NZEH, Ere-ebi AGEDAH

Abuja dangerous Estates, rising crime rate

Most residents of estates in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, are increasingly worried by the rising crime rates where they live.

But the FCT police command insists that the city, and estates in particular, are well policed.

However, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics on reported criminal offences show that of the total of 125,790 cases in 2016, Lagos and Abuja, top the highest crime rates in Nigeria.

According to the report, Abuja recorded 2,984, cases like murder, manslaughter, infanticide, rape physical abuse offences etc.

In recent times the crime rate in Abuja have given residents cause for concern, especially in estates.

For instance, in early January, a gang of armed robbers numbering 7 carried out deadly raids in five flats of a private Estate, in Zona A, Kurudu, a suburb of Abuja, where they hacked down a 57-year old man, Michael Ibu, after disposing his family of their belongings, including phones, laptops and about N600, 000.

Also, the police in a statement in April narrated how officers of the Lugbe Division foiled an armed robbery attack in Sauka Federal Housing Estate Extension.

The statement noted that on sighting operatives from the Lugbe Division, the suspects opened fire on them, with two suspects killed in the exchange of gunfire.

According to the police, when operatives searched the scene of the shootout and a nearby bush, they recovered two locally made pistols, nine flat screen television sets and two laptop computers, two cutlasses; one knife; one torchlight; one cell phone; wrist watches; jewellery; and shoes.

A resident of Gwarimpa Estate, Eka Ibanga, told one of our correspondents that the challenge in Gwarimpa, considered West Africa’s largest estate, is that of petty thieves who come to steal items from shops, “at night they break in when the owners might have locked up for the day.”

She said the police is not doing enough to secure the estate because at times when it happens, they would not arrive on time to arrest the criminals and most time when the criminals are arrested and handed over to them we do not get information on their trials.

Deji Omolumo, a resident of Federal Housing Estate, Lugbe, said the major challenge is car battery theft, according to him, “if you make the mistake of parking your car outside, you will be surprised seeing it the next morning without the battery.”

Ehis Joseph, a resident of Efab Estate, said the challenge is always that of breaking and entering, especially during December when most residents travel out of Abuja. “You see these refuse collectors they would just hang by the gate and if for 30 minutes nobody moves around they find a way to get in and rob the place. Personally they have stolen my generator and gas before I came back from work.”

The case that has left many pondering is the alleged four murders that have happened since this year at CITEC Estate, Mbora Estate, along Airport Road Jabi.

The Abuja Inquirer learnt that four residents have been killed in deadly robberies on the estate with residents now in fear given the porous nature of the expansive estate.

Last week, a tenant at the estate, Ms. Onize Ismaila from Kogi State, was said brutally murdered by in a robbery incident.

It was gathered that the assailants waited for her outside her home, and struck when the public power supply went off and she came to put on the generator.

Her house was afterwards ransacked and valuables stolen.

Her neigbhour who heard her screaming, said he was too afraid to come out.

Efforts to speak with any of the residents at Mbora failed as none was willing to speak, while at the security office, the declined to comment.

The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Manza Anjuguri, said the command was unrelenting in providing security, but called for greater citizens’ engagement.

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