FCT, Abuja - Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, are worried that despite the threat of insecurity in the nation's capital, Abuja, deployment of security operatives in the satellite towns remains a big issue.
Abuja satellite towns under security threats
Legit.ng observes that the majority of residents of the nation's capital live in the satellite towns.
From Monday to Friday, residents head to the city centre in the morning and return in the evening. It means that there is usually heavy traffic going to the city centre in the morning and when returning in the evening.
Maitama, Asoko, Central Business District, Area 1 and 11 are all in the city centre and contain both public and private offices.
Only bankers, teachers and a few security operatives work in the satellite towns.
Some of the satellite towns in Abuja are Kubwa, Gwarinpa, Dutse, Bwari, Ushafa, Lugbe, Kagini, Dei-Dei, Zuba, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Katampe, Mpape, Idu, Karmo, Gwagwa, Ido, Apo, Abaji, and many others.
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But Legit.ng has observed serious and constant security threats in most of the satellite towns as most of them share boundaries with states infiltrated by bandits and terrorists.
Abaji is located on the outskirts of the FCT and shares boundaries with Kogi State,
Bwari and Ushafa share a similar boundary Kaduna. Zuba, a community in
Gwagwalada local government shares boundaries with Niger State but it has been observed that deployments to the axes are majorly along the expressway where officers do stop and search and that within the community, policemen do not respond to distress calls.
Poor response from police during security threat in Ushafa
A resident of SCC Road in Ushafa who does not want his name in print said the current situation warrants massive deployment to the satellite towns. He queries why policemen should be massively deployed to the city centre that is not experiencing much of the security threat.
Citing an incident that happened recently in Ushafa when some armed robbers visited Adefemi community, the resident said:
"I think deployment within the satellite towns is quite poor. It will only amount to protecting the rich and those in government while leaving the satellite towns porous.
"But one thing they don't know yet is if these criminals take over these satellite towns, those who live in Asokoro and Maitama will also have problems.
"So if they are tackling these threats from satellite towns, they are equally stopping them from infiltrating the city centre.
"My concern is that police hasn’t been strategic enough yet. We see flashes of threats here and there, and one would expect that places like Bwari and Ushafa should see contingents on a daily basis. Towns like Kuje, Abaji and Zuba should be where policemen should be massively deployed to. In a sane clime, police outposts should be scattered around these places.
"Recently, at SCC junction in Ushafa, we experienced a robbery incident and for over 3 hours, these guys went from house to house without any response from the police. When we called the outpost in Ushafa, the officer on duty said she could not leave her duty post as she was the only one on duty. Tell me, why should they deploy only one officer to the whole of Ushafa?
"During the kidnapping incident near the dam, several calls were put across to the police as there were no officers on the ground at the SCC outpost. It took the police three hours to mobilize to Ushafa. Before their arrival, three persons had been taken away. While I hail the police for their effort, I believe they need to deploy more officers to those flashpoints."
Security guards attacked
Also speaking, a night security guard at Adefemi in Ushafa, told Legit.ng that every night, they work so hard to stop these boys.
"Just a month ago, we were ambushed by these bad boys. They tied us down and went on operations. Unfortunately for them, we got support from other guards within neighbouring communities who chased them away. You can imagine what would have happened. Throughout the effort, no single policeman responded."
We are surviving by God's grace - Resident
Mallam Saidu in Zuba told Legit.ng that they are surviving by the grace of God.
"Almighty Allah is still helping to keep us safe. I can't feel any security presence. If these guys go through the bush paths and storm our community, those policemen on the expressway won't even know until operations are over. Yes, stop and search on the road is good, but what is most important right now is actual security presence within communities."
FCT command reacts, promises better days
But the FCT police command said the complaints were strange, saying that police are doing so well in terms of deployment to satellite towns.
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Speaking exclusively to Legit.ng, FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh said while she would forward some of the observations to the FCT police commissioner, she is sure that massive deployment has been done lately.
While assuring residents of their safety, she said:
"We have been deploying and there is this operation G7 that we activated comprising all the agencies including security agencies from all these bordering states.
"The day before yesterday, they went on an operation and they raided and 180 people were arrested and we are profiling them. So I’m surprised to have heard that there are still vulnerable places. We are going every day to comb these areas.
We are even working with the locals because they know the terrain better than us, including the hunters and vigilantes."
Abuja under siege
Recall that Abuja recently came under terrorist siege. After the attack on Kuje prison, the presidential Guard Brigades were attacked in Bwari, near Veritas University.
Many officers were killed including a Lt. Colonel and a Captain.
Also, a new attack around the Zuma Rock led to the death of two military officers.