Residents of Abuja were yesterday thrown into fear after some suspected terrorists wounded three soldiers deployed to the Guards Brigade at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The soldiers were on regular patrol on Kubwa-Bwari Road.
The incident came roughly 24 hours after the terrorists that claimed responsibility for the March 28 attack on passengers aboard a Kaduna-bound train vowed to kidnap President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Forty-three of the 63 passengers abducted by the insurgents are still being held in the forests by their kidnappers, who have released a fresh threat to kill some and sell off others.
But yesterday, the negotiator who recently orchestrated the release of 11 victims, Malam Tukur Mamu, declared the release of four more abductees.
Tukur, who stated that he did not know if the relatives paid ransom to the terrorists, gave the names of the released hostages as Gladys Brumen, Oluwatoyin Ojo, Hassan Lawal and Pastor Ayodeji Oyewumi
Yesterday’s attack compelled Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu and the FCT Education Secretariat to take preventive measures.
The minister ordered the immediate closure of the Federal Government College (FGC), Kwali, and security beef-up around all unity schools.
Also in a press release, the FCT Secretariat ordered that the academic session must end tomorrow.
It called on parents and guardians to pick up their children and wards.
Military sources revealed that there were intelligence reports that the terrorists were laying siege on the FCT planning to attack a higher institution and other government facilities in Bwari.
The sources noted that detectives were on the trail of the assailants.
The FCT Police Command also said: “There is no cause for alarm.”
A source stated that the troops of 7 Guards Battalion on routine patrol along Kubwa – Bwari road were attacked by suspected terrorists.
He also added that three soldiers wounded during the attack were transported to the hospital for medical attention.
“The ambush happening within the general area of Bwari shows that the terrorists are actually within the location and possibly to carry out their plans of attacking the Law School in Bwari as earlier reported,” the source said.
Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Guards Brigade, Captain Godfrey Abakpa, acknowledged that soldiers were attacked by suspected terrorists.
He added that the wounded troops were receiving treatment.
Captain Abakpa said: “They were attacked and the attack was successfully repelled. We had a few wounded in action and they have been taken to the hospital and receiving treatments.
“At the moment, our troops are still combing the general area to get rid of the criminals that have been threatening the general area.
“It is advised that residents go about their lawful businesses and keep cooperating with us by giving us timely information to enable us to win the fight against the criminals.”
Fear grips residents
The threats of attack and kidnap by terrorists has instilled fear on Abuja residents.
It was revealed that some communities in the FCT have received communications from the terrorists alerting them of attacks.
Residents of the Sheda community stated that they were informed about an attack.
One of the residents who claimed to be an alumnus of the FGC, Kwali, ascertained that gunshots were heard before the closure of the school yesterday.
It was also rumoured that Birgham University has been phoned by terrorists. The university is situated in Nasarawa State, close to the nation’s capital.
An unconfirmed report stated that the terrorists were camping on Karshi hill. Residents reported that the terrorists have hoisted their flag on the hill.
Security has been tightened around the Nigerian Law School in Bwari.
The FCT Education Secretariat also released a statement on Monday, informing parents and guardians that the 2021/2022 academic calendar for FCT schools will end tomorrow.
Also, the FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) urged all Junior Secondary schools to end their examinations tomorrow (today).
But the FCT Police Command spokesman Josephine Adeh, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), stated that police have no cause to react to the reported threats, noting that there is no cause for alarm.
Adah said: “We did not issue any statement on this. How can I go and react to what I don’t know? Am I working on the education board? As far as the police are concerned, there is no tension and no situation; no panic.
“We have been doing our job, and we do not know where that one is coming from.”
The Education Minister stated that the closure of schools became necessary subsequent to a security breach in Sheda and Lambata villages, suburbs of Kwali Area Council, which also threatened the FGC Kwali.
According to him, the timely intervention of security agencies rescued the situation.
Adamu also ordered that arrangements be put in place for final year students to end their Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) organized by the National Examinations Council (NECO).
The minister ordered principals of Unity Colleges across the country to work with security agencies within their jurisdictions to forestall any security breach.