Armed ViolenceNews

Abuja Residents Panic As Gunmen Invade Life Camp And Environs

A resident of life camp Gwarinpa is recovering after surviving multiple gunshots fired at his car.

Nigerians, and particularly Abuja residents were gripped with fear and shock following repeated attacks by gunmen on motorists and residents within the strategic neighbourhood of the city.

A video recording of a recent attack on August 11, showed a victim’s car riddled with bullet holes and the driver seat covered with blood.

Humangle spoke with the driver, Abubakar Salisu Hassan, who was in a hospital bed recovering from gunshot wounds.

Hassan, a resident of Life Camp Gwarinpa, a quiet, residential district in Nigeria’s capital Abuja told Humangle, he was shot several times by armed assailants on the fateful day at about 11 pm.

Hassan was heading home when he suddenly heard two gunshots. He remained calm and observed about seven persons, some lying down and others coming towards the road to intercept his car.

Without panicking he made a mental picture of the road and laid on the right passenger seat and quickly accelerated his car.

The armed assailants fired multiple rounds at his vehicle upon noticing their victim was about to drive at a furious speed past then.

Hassan continued to drive with his head down, despite the speed and gunshots until he got to a speed bump, designed to force drivers to slow down.

The bullets flew at him, one piercing his leg another brushing his back. He bled profusely.

The divisional police officer visited Hassan in the hospital and told him an investigation was ongoing on the incident.

Sunday Chukwujekwu Ike, a pharmacist and former secretary of the Abuja Community Pharmacists Association, was not as lucky as Hassan.

His assailants invaded his pharmacy in Gwarinpa at about 11pm on Friday, June 19 and killed him.

Humangle spoke with Henry Okelue, a resident of the Life Camp regarding the upsurge of insecurity in the neighbourhood. He described the district as a relatively safe neighbourhood with regular policing in place.

HumAngle reached out to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) command, Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah.

He made a generic official statement, about the command’s deployment of “measures across the Federal Capital Territory to fight and reduce crime.”

Manzah added that the trending information on social media was a one-off incident recorded on a road leading to an isolated estate located in Life Camp.

According to him, this does not represent the current security situation in the axis, as security has been beefed up around the affected estate.

He said that the areas mentioned in the trending message were constantly under surveillance and patrol by both uniform and plainclothes police operatives.

“The Command wants to reassure residents of Life Camp, Godab estate, ACO Estate and other parts of FCT that proactive round the clock crime-fighting measures have been deployed to guarantee their security,” he added.

On 1 February 2020, the Minister of FCT Muhammad Bello, whose official residence is in the Life Camp neighbourhood, directed that three syndicate teams be set up to review existing security strategies in the city.

His directive was issued following the first monthly FCT Security Committee meeting for the year 2020.

Similarly, in June, Bello inaugurated a 16-member Community Policing Advisory Committee, to help in reducing crime rate and to deepen the trust between the communities and the law enforcement agencies.

Fears of insecurity in the nation’s capital city heightened with a recent expose by HumAngle of the growing active cells in states surrounding Abuja.

The affected states include Kaduna state with active Ansaru and Boko Haram cells, Niger state with active Boko Haram and Ansaru cells, Kogi state with active Ansaru cells and Nasarawa state.

(FCT Police Command Control room distress numbers are 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883).

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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