Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Thursday, said the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, must be sacked with immediate effect over his consistent failure to stop attacks on prisons in the country.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said it is distasteful and condemnable that over 15 jailbreaks have occurred under Aregbesola in the last five years while over 3,000 inmates have escaped.
The group also urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to stop asking rhetorical questions on social media on how the intelligence system of the country failed to detect Tuesday attack at Kuje prison in Abuja.
HURIWA said the President should immediately set up judicial panel of inquiry on prison breaks in Nigeria and ensure that such assaults on the entire security apparatus of Nigeria do not recur.
Tuesday’s assault on the Kuje Correctional Centre was brutal even as the attackers bombed the prison, killed some security agents and inmates while they set over 600 prisoners free including 69 Boko Haram suspects.
According to media reports, soldiers deployed to Kuje vicinity and the Correctional Center’s environment, who had mastered the terrain, were redeployed 24 hours before the dastard attack.
A certain Mr Tukur Mamu, who is a media aide to controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, said the Kuje prison attackers were members of the Ansaru terrorist group who launched attack and kidnapped scores of passengers in Abuja-Kaduna bound train on March 28.
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The spate of jailbreaks under President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, is alarming and condemnable. Even under then President Goodluck Jonathan who had no military experience or background, jailbreaks weren’t as rampant as what Nigerians see these days.
“The frequent and recurring jailbreaks show the inefficiency of all those President Buhari appointed into office and his unwillingness to sack them show also that the President tacitly want the situation to continue to fester”.
HURIWA demanded the arrest of the persons who allegedly gave the order purportedly for withdrawal of soldiers before the attack.
The group also requested the sacking of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; and his Defence counterpart, Bashir Magashi; for “perpetual incompetence”.
Furthermore, they called for a broad-based judicial panel of inquiry on prison breaks in Nigeria to be constituted.