The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said the repeated attacks on Nigerian correctional centres could be linked to climate change and ‘global crisis.’
Mr Aregbesola said this at the 64th session of the State House Ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
At the event, the minister was asked what was responsible for a number of prison breaks in the country, including the recent attack on the Kuje correctional centre. Responding, he said: “It is the season; I know you don’t want to hear it. Have we had what we are having in Nigeria today before? It is the season and it’s global.”
“Why are we having assassinations in America? Bad as it is, it is horrible but in America, people get killed every second. In California within the last week in America 20 people have been killed, no you asked why? It has nothing to do with technology, it could even be linked to climate change,” he said.
Mr Aregbesola stated that some people resort to criminalities when they cannot manage their stability in the face of hardship, scarcity and insecurity. He noted that the global tension that trailed the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the crisis across the world.
“Let’s not look at COVID-19 alone — the remaining 120 days on and off — don’t you think that those things will have an impact on society?” he said. “And in any case, how to assess a government is this: What did you not do?”
On 5 July 2022, armed terrorists invaded the Kuje correctional, centre, a prison in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. After hours of firing arms, over 400 inmates escaped.
On Thursday, the minister said his ministry had foiled another jailbreak attempt at the Kuje facility, even though he did not provide details of that.
He said those that recently tried to attack the Kuje prison recently were sent “back to their makers.”
“As of today, there’s no single inmate of our facilities that is not captured biometrically and that is the best we can do,” he said. “We’re still working on DNA, which is another way of identifying them; we have met with all agencies and institutions that can use the biometrics. The most effective agency in capturing them is still the police force. They are doing wonderfully well.”
Mr Aregbesola said his ministry is doing its best to prevent attacks on correctional facilities.
“Just take it, it is no long game as usual,” he said. “We are equipping our men to be able to defend those facilities on their own. And those sister agencies are equally upping their capacity to protect and defend our facilities. And we’re improving the design of our facilities to make it almost impregnable.”
In September last year, PREMIUM TIMES detailed why the terror attack on the Kuje prison facility was successful. Our findings revealed the flaws in Nigeria’s security preparedness that led to the avoidable incident.
Before the Kuje incident, there had been attacks on prisons in Oyo, Edo and other parts of the country leading to the escape of many criminals.
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