The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, once known for its relative tranquility and security, is now grappling with a surge in kidnapping cases, leaving residents in constant anxiety. The recent abduction of over 23 residents in Dei-Dei town, along with other incidents, has heightened concerns, prompting demands for immediate action to restore safety.
Reports indicate that the kidnappers, some allegedly in military uniform, targeted housing estates and communities, carrying out their operations discreetly. The incidents occurred in areas such as Dei-Dei, Gbaupe village, and Arab Road residential area in Kubwa town. A total of 85 persons were reportedly abducted along the Kaduna-Abuja highways near Katari, with more than four residents killed during the attacks.
In 2023 alone, Abuja witnessed the killing of at least 36 people, and 339 others were abducted from various communities in the territory. Residents, once accustomed to a sense of security, now express frustration and fear due to the escalating crime rates.
Local residents and leaders have called on the government to intervene urgently, emphasizing the need for increased security personnel, especially in local communities and at border areas. Some residents pointed out that poor monitoring of these regions contributes to the porous security situation in the FCT.
Civil society organizations and experts attribute the rising insecurity to various factors, including poverty, unemployment, and lack of good governance. They stress the importance of addressing these root causes to effectively combat crime. Critics also highlight distractions in the form of political engagements, urging the FCT Minister to prioritize the security of Abuja residents.
In response to the growing concerns, the FCT Police Command has pledged an unwavering commitment to fortify security measures and prevent kidnapping attempts. Residents are encouraged to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to enhance overall security.
The Inspector-General of Police has ordered the deployment of officers and security equipment along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway to ensure the safety of travellers. The presence of equipped operatives is intended to serve as a deterrent to criminal activities along the route.
As Abuja residents grapple with a sense of insecurity, the call for comprehensive and effective measures to address the root causes of kidnapping remains crucial for restoring safety and restoring the city’s reputation as a secure capital.