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Abuja murders leave residents in panic

·       Army General, journalist, DJ, others victims

·       Police assure of “all round security”

By Our Correspondents

Recent murders have left residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, in panic, with many questioning the security of the nation’s capital.

Besides the activities of one-chance and bandits, who kidnap for ransom on the outskirts of the Federal Capital City, the activities of robbers and other criminals seem to be on the rise, especially with the economic downturn.

In the past few weeks, about four murders have left residents in troubled mood, while some have excused the security agencies of any failing owing to the domestic nature of some of the crimes.

Octogenarians murdered by mechanic

On March 31, 2024 an auto mechanic, Jonathan Marcus, who often worked as a chauffeur to an elderly couple, Adebola Ezekiel, 80, and his wife, Abiodun Ezekiel, 79, murdered them in their home, stole their belongings and fled to Obajana, Kogi state, where he was eventually arrested by the police.

The couple were killed at their Apo Legislative Quarters residence.

During that period, the FCT Police Command arrested another two suspects for alleged culpable homicide in the Mabushi area of Abuja.

Speaking at that time, the FCT Police Commissioner, Mr. Benneth Igweh, disclosed that the suspects were arrested by operatives from the Mabushi Division following a tip-off that the corpse of one Bilkisu Mohammed was being discreetly conveyed.

Igweh revealed, “The deceased had earlier visited the house of her supposed boyfriend, who eventually travelled to Kano and left her in the care of the female suspect.

“The deceased allegedly fell ill and was given non-prescribed drugs that led to her death by the male suspect who came into the house on the invitation of the female suspect.”

DJ murdered in Gwarinpa hotel

In the early hours of June 16, robbers attacked the Volcano Hotel in the Gwarinpa area of the city and left in their wake a disc jockey dead.

The DJ, who was shot, did not die immediately but later at the Federal Medical Centre in Jabi, Abuja, where he was rushed to.

During the operation that lasted almost an hour, guests were subjected to the harrowing experience of being robbed of their valuables and personal belongings.

A resident of the area, who witnessed the incident and identified simply as Sani, said the incident had caused panic in the area, as incidents of armed robbery have become rampant.

“We have been experiencing a series of armed robbery incidents in Gwarinpa recently, and this particular one has heightened fears among residents,” Sani stated.

Journalist found dead in Mpape

Terror came knocking for Abuja-based journalist, Joel Waksi, Wednesday, June 19, five days after he was declared missing as he was found dead.

Waksi, an On-Air Personality, OAP, with Atar Communication, owners of Liberty TV/Radio reportedly left the office around 9 p.m. on Friday, June 14, and was supposed to return to work at the station’s Mpape office by 2 p.m. the following day.

The Group General Manager (GGM), Atar Communication, Balarabe Muhammad, said the police in Mpape Division of the nation’s capital had declared that Waksi’s body was found near the Panteka neighbourhood and had been transferred to the morgue at Kubwa General Hospital.

According to Muhammad, the OAP was stabbed around his neck, and his phone could not be found.

Phone snatching is a deadly common crime in Abuja with a lot of residents living with scars of their survival from phone snatchers, who in turn sell these stolen items for next to nothing.

Retired General fatally shot in his Abuja home

The recent and most troubling is that of Brigadier General Uwem Udokwere.

He will be considered well-protected as military top brass, though retired. Mistaken! He was killed in his Abuja home on June 22, 2024.

The police in Abuja said he must have been killed by armed robbers in an estate on Saturday morning.

Josephine Adeh, spokesperson of the federal capital territory (FCT) police command, in a statement, said Benneth Igweh, the commissioner of police, has ordered immediate investigation into the incident.

“In response to the tragic and unprecedented attack at Sunshine homes estate by armed robbers, resulting in the untimely demise of one Brigadier General Uwem Harold Udokwere (rtd.) on June 22, 2024, at approximately 03:00 a.m, the Commissioner of Police, FCT, CP Benneth C. Igweh, has promptly ordered a thorough and discreet investigation into the circumstances surrounding this regrettable event,” the command spokesperson said.

Police assure of all-round security

At all times when a crime is committed or a citizen is murdered in Abuja, there is always an assurance by the police of protection and speedy investigation.

“Furthermore, the commissioner of police reaffirms the unflinching commitment of the command to amplify the security landscape of the nation’s capital, by continually adapting strategies to effectively combat evolving criminal activities,” is a common refrain by the spokeswoman of the command, SP Adeh.

Security expert reacts

A security expert, Senator Iroegbu, who spoke on the recent killings in the FCT, including the tragic murder of a retired General, said the incidents are indeed alarming and unacceptable.

“The escalating rates of crime and insecurity in the nation’s capital demand swift and decisive action. As I have consistently advocated, Abuja must be the most secure city in Nigeria, and a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach is crucial to achieving this.

“Firstly, the president must issue clear directives to all relevant authorities to prioritize FCT security, setting specific targets and timelines. Secondly, the FCT Minister, while commendable in road rehabilitation efforts, must also focus on security challenges, ensuring regular security meetings, coordination, and community engagement.

“The FCT Police must enhance their policing strategies, leveraging actionable intelligence, interagency collaboration, and community policing. This coordination should extend to stakeholders like community leaders, associations, transport unions, religious centers, and labor unions. Intelligence agencies must utilize the NIM-SIM linkage effectively.

“Residents must be sensitized on security awareness, encouraged to be their brother’s keeper, and support neighborhood watch initiatives. Infrastructure development should prioritize security features like CCTV and reliable street lighting.

“By adopting a comprehensive and inclusive approach, we can restore security and confidence in the FCT, making Abuja a model for the rest of Nigeria.”

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