President Muhammadu Buhari expressed surprise and disappointment on Wednesday at the way terrorists were able to carry out a risky attack on the Kuje prison complex in Abuja.
President Buhari questioned how the terrorists could plan and carry out such an attack while visiting the attacked facility with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and his chief of staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
After being briefed on the situation by the Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Dr. Shuaib Mohammad Lamido Belgore, Buhari expressed his thoughts.
He questioned the inability of security forces on guard to have raised an initial alarm before the situation got out of hand and so many terrorists in detention were released.
The President was told that 63 terrorists were unaccounted for after the attack.
“How did the defences at the prison fail to prevent the attack? How many inmates were in the facility? How many of them can you account for? How many personnel did you have on duty? How many of them were armed? Were there guards on the watchtower? What did they do? Does the CCTV work?” President Buhari queried according to a statement on Wednesday by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
The President was also informed that the security forces have recaptured 350 of the escapees while about 450 others are still unaccounted for, and that rapid work is under way to recapture the rest.
After inspecting some of the attacked points within the facility, President Buhari told newsmen he was disappointed with the intelligence system (and utilization).
“I am disappointed with the intelligence system. How can terrorists organize, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?”
He added that he is expecting “a comprehensive report” on the incident.