THE Terrorist attack on a military checkpoint on the Niger-Abuja border two days ago has highlighted the threat terrorists pose to the Nigerian state and people.
Terrorists attacked a military checkpoint in Zuma Rock Village on Thursday, July 28, 2022 night, near the border of Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The attack came just six days after terrorists ambushed a patrol team of the Presidential Guards along the Bwari-Kubwa Road, killing at least eight soldiers.
The team was formed in response to intelligence reports that terrorists were planning to attack the Nigerian Law School in Bwari, only to fall victim to the marauders.
A series of attacks has heightened tensions in the FCT, prompting schools to close quickly. One example is the Federal Government College in Kwali, whose administration asked parents to evacuate their children due to a reported bandit attack on a neighboring community.
The ICIR also recently reported that the administration of Veritas University, Bwari, FCT, had suspended academic activities due to security concerns.
Zuma Rock Village, named after the popular Zuma Rock, is located near Madalla town on the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna expressway. The popular Zuma Rock is located near Madalla town on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.
The attack on the military checkpoint was the first of its kind in the community, despite the fact that the expressway itself has become notorious for banditry and kidnapping.
According to a community source, the insurgents arrived at 7.30 p.m. and opened fire on the troops, killing one officer and injuring others. The terrorists, who were believed to be on their way to Abuja from Kaduna, were repulsed by troops and equipment from the Army Base in Zuma Barracks, as well as other security forces on the scene.
Residents who spoke with the ICIR said they were startled to hear gunshots from the military checkpoint a few meters away and fled in different directions for safety.
“In fact, we didn’t know where we were going,” Danjuma Musa, a 47-year-old civil servant who lives in the small town with his family, said. The entire village was terrified by the sound of gunfire. We are still living in fear for the time being.”
Musa described the residents’ trauma as “nightmarish” when recounting the attack’s impact on them.
“It’s difficult to sleep in this town because we don’t know when they’ll come to abduct or kill us,” he said.
He did, however, confirm that no deaths were reported in the community.
Sani Shehu, a 46-year-old farmer, was convinced that the attack was carried out by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group because “they were shouting allah akbar” in front of some residents.
However, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Shehu praised the security personnel who repelled the terrorists for their bravery, despite the fact that the terrorists had superior weapons, he claimed. Given what he witnessed, he believed the Nigerian military has the capability to eliminate terrorism.
“Our soldiers need more than AK 47 guns because these Boko Haram terrorists operate with more sophisticated weapons,” he pleaded to the government.
Mohammed Abdullahi, another village resident, told our reporter that he was at work in Abuja on Tuesday when his family members called to inform him of their whereabouts.
“My family went into hiding in the woods and didn’t return until midnight, when the gunshots stopped and the situation calmed down.” “My sister, who is staying with me, is now ill as a result of the panic caused by hearing the gunshots,” Abdullahi explained.
He added that prior to the attack, the community had only heard about terrorist attacks on the radio.
When the ICIR asked what steps the community was taking to prevent future attacks, he said, “We are pleading with the government to protect us because we don’t have power in this kind of situation.” However, we will remain vigilant and provide critical information to security agencies.”
Some residents who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed concern that, despite the magnitude of the security threats in the community, there was little security presence. They urged the federal government to establish a strong, well-armed military presence in the area to deter future attacks.
They condemned Boko Haram insurgents’ approach to resolving disagreements with the government, saying the terrorists should direct their grievances to the appropriate authorities rather than using innocent citizens as scapegoats.
On July 5, 2022, the terrorists stormed the Kuje Prison in Abuja with bombs and guns, killing a Civil Defence officer and freeing over 800 inmates, including 66 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist commanders and members.
Terrorists have also threatened to kidnap President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai.