Residents of Bwari, Ushafa, and other villages in Bwari Area Council, Abuja, are currently sleeping with one eye open following the incessant deadly activities of bandits who are wreaking havoc in the territory.
The said assailants have been on a rampage in the past few days, carrying out killings and kidnappings across various communities in the council.
Last week, on Wednesday, a tragic incident occurred in Zuma 1, Bwari central ward, where seven family members were abducted by the gunmen.
During a gun duel between the bandits and operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, a man named Alhaji was gruesomely killed.
Additionally, two officers sustained serious injuries. The terrorists managed to overpower the security operatives and took several residents to unknown locations.
Prior to this incident, the blood-thirsty bandits had invaded Barangoni, also in the Bwari central ward, and abducted multiple individuals. A vigilante member was also severely injured during the attack.
Also, a few days before Christmas, Garam, Kuduru, and Azu communities in the council were invaded by gunmen who fired indiscriminately to intimidate the residents without any resistance from security operatives in the area.
As a result, at least five people were abducted by the gunmen.
The situation in Bwari, Ushafa, and surrounding villages is dire, with the activities of these daredevil bandits causing fear and distress among the residents. Residents have since cried out to relevant authorities to take immediate action to ensure the safety and security of the affected communities.
The dreadful attacks and kidnapping have forced some residents, especially in Bwari, Ushafa and other border communities, to flee their homes.
The communities near Veritas University in the Bwari area of the FCT were recently targeted by armed men who launched attacks and kidnapped several residents.
As a result of these incidents, the university had to be closed on July 8, 2022. The closure was announced by the institution’s management after eight soldiers were killed and three wounded in an ambush that occurred when they responded to a distress call from the Nigerian Law School in Bwari, where the initial attack took place.
In addition, the General Hospital in Bwari had to partially shut down due to the escalating attacks by the bandits.
A source who spoke to the Daily Post on condition of anonymity disclosed that some hospital workers, including doctors, are now compelled to stay at home out of fear of being kidnapped.
“Since Wednesday, the hospital has not been functioning properly. Bandits have been attacking many places within Bwari here.
“One thing about them (bandits) is that they study their victims, know where he or she works, his or her financial status before they strike.
“The medical doctors are afraid that they may be targeted, so the hospital did not function like before on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“Although we initially heard that it was shut down but when we visited, we discovered that some activities were going on,” the source reportedly said.
In recent times, Ushafa village also referred to as the Clinton Village under the Bwari Area Council, has experienced a series of brutal attacks carried out by terrorists.
On Wednesday, the gunmen reportedly launched an attack near Jordan FM, resulting in the abduction of an unspecified number of residents.
Furthermore, on Saturday night, a distressing report emerged claiming that some residents who were returning from the farm had allegedly spotted bandits positioned near the rocks, behind the LEA Primary School. Although the FCT Police Command has yet to confirm this report, it has instilled fear and anxiety within the Clinton Village community.
A member of the village’s vigilante group, Laurence Ekoja, who spoke to journalists on the latest development, revealed that prior to the attack on Zuma 1 in Bwari on Wednesday, farmers had also sighted the bandits.
He said: “From what we gathered, before they attacked Zuma that day, farmers saw them gathered behind a rock like that. It was not long before the bandits attacked.
“If nothing is done to chase these people away, we may have another attack in Ushafa very soon. We need more soldiers and other security operatives.
“Nobody knows where they usually come from but they always come through the mountains, especially behind that primary school.
“They have killed and kidnapped several persons in that area. We need help in Ushafa. The police and soldiers should come to our aid.”
However, when contacted, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh, urged residents to stop disseminating unverified information.
On the general security issues in the council, the PPRO revealed that “the Commissioner of Police, on the 3rd of January, 2024, diligently visited all communities in the region.
“During these visits, he engaged with community leaders, assessed security arrangements, and took proactive measures, including deploying additional personnel and an armoured police vehicle. Despite these efforts, concerns have been raised about perceived inactivity,” Daily Post quoted Adeh saying.