Parents and guardians are hurriedly withdrawing their children and wards from boarding schools in Abuja as fear of more terrorist attacks and abductions heightened in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
On Monday, the FCT closed the Federal Government College, Kwali, on the advice of Adamu Adamu, minister of education.
A statement from the FCT Education Secretariat shortened the 2021/2022 academic calendar for FCT Schools to Wednesday, July 27, instead of Friday, July 29.
“All parents and guardians should please take note and ensure their wards are conveyed home in good time from the school premises,’’ the statement added.
FGC Kwali is located at Sheda Village on the Abuja-Lokoja highway. The Village was attacked by terrorists on Sunday, July 24, 2022.
FGC Kwali is a mixed school. Boys taking the NECO final examination have been relocated to Government College, Garki; while girls have been relocated to to Bwari.
There have been unconfirmed rumours after the July 5, Kuje Prison attack that the terrorists were planning to abduct students in FCT. Schools on the outskirts are considered most vulnerable.
The terrorists are said to have infiltrated four area councils – Gwagwalada, Kuje, Abaji and Bwari – out of Abuja’s six, and formed cells. Individuals are being reported missing in the communities.
The Nigeria Law School, Bwari, received a threat letter that the school was being targeted. The authorities sent SOS to the government, and soldiers from the elite Presidential Guards Brigade were despatched to assess the situation on July 22.
On their way back to Abuja, they were ambushed and two soldiers, a captain and a lieutenant, were killed.
Lieutenant Ibrahim Suleiman and Captain Samuel Attah, who were indigenes of Kogi State, have been identified as the soldiers killed in the ambush.
Suleiman was the son of Col Suleiman Ahmodu Babanawa (rtd), from Okpo in Olamaboro Local Government Area; Attah was from Ibaji Local Government.
The attack on Kwali is the third of such attacks in the FCT in the month of July 2022 alone.
The terrorists had last weeken, uploaded a video where they were flogging the victims of the Abuja-Kaduna rail attack. They equally threatened they would kidnapp President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
In response, the Presidency said in a statement on July 24 by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, that the President had given the military everything to do their job.
“The Presidency, in the meantime, wishes to reassure the public that the President has done all, and even more than what is expected of him as Commander-in-Chief by way of morale, material and equipment support to the military and expects nothing short of good results in the immediate.”
This statement captures the perplexity, frustration and helplessness of M. President in the face of worsening insecurity across the country.
Abuja residents are losing confidence in the ability of the government to protect them from the rampaging terrorists. They feel that if the terrorists were able to overpower security at Kuje Prison, then schools are most vulnerable.
The Nigerian government could not help the hapless 22 farmers who were kidnapped from their farm at Abaji on Wednesday, June 22. The terrorists demanded ₦44 million ransom, two million for each of the captives.
Engr. Ibrahim A. Barde, a spokesman of the community who had 13 family members among the 22, told TELL that the victims were finally released last weekend, after over one month. The terrorists were releasing them in batches as the ransoms were paid.
Apart from the ransom, the family sent food items and ₦300, 000 cash for their upkeep while it lasted.
Barde said that despite the family making report to the Police Anti-Kidnapping Squad, no security man came to their assistance till they paid the ransom and got them released.
“They never came for one day to ask us any questions. They left us to the mercy of the terrorists,” he lamented.
It is this attitude that makes FCT residents not to have confidence in the security apparatus to protect their children at school.
Parents who spoke to the TELL said it was better to be safe at home than abducted at school.
As the 2023 general elections draw nearer, it is feared that the terrorists have so much infiltrated Abuja and would do what they can to embarrass the government.