An aide to Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi called Tukur Mamu has made a new claim about the recent attack on Kuje prison.
On Tuesday night, gunmen attacked the correctional facility in the federal capital territory (FCT) with explosives, and over 500 prisoners — including “all Boko Haram suspects” — were said to have escaped during the attack.
The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mamu, who is also publisher of the Desert Herald newspaper, said he pre-informed security operatives of the threat of an attack on the correctional facility.
Mamu, who was also instrumental to the release of 10 persons abducted during a March 28 attack on a Kaduna-bound train, said he got the information during his negotiations with the group behind the train attack.
“This is probably the last I will ever [dabble] on the above subject matter, because of the frustrations and failure of relevant official stakeholders to take prompt and painful decisions, in the interest of the citizens of a nation that have been consumed by insecurity and avoidable attacks,” the statement published on his site reads.
“With all the billions in budgetary allocations on security, with instances of few becoming billionaires at the expense of innocent lives, we must accept the fact that the current system has collapsed.
“This is also to confirm to Nigerians that after unnecessary delays and despite the milestone we reached in efforts to secure the release of the remaining victims of Abuja-Kaduna train attack, there was indeed a fresh threat by the abductors that they will to start slaughtering their victims yesterday, Tuesday, 5th July, 2022.
“I was crying on audio after listening to their recorded message and pleading with them. Their renewed threat was as a result of our (FG’s) failure to convey to them a definite response regarding their two demands I consider worth giving speedy approval, especially if one will take into cognisance the value of the innocent lives that are with them and in a country where one person will steal far more than what they are requesting for.
“As a result of my engagement, they gave us opportunity to respond to their demands but we failed to do so on four different occasions which resulted in the recent threat.
“For me, there’s no difference between corrupt officials or contractors that are committing treason against the nation by way of stealing the resources that will benefit everybody, monies that will stop preventable deaths in our hospitals due to decaying structures, improve standards of education and even stop insecurity and crimes, with the terrorists that emerged because of this sad reality and now unleashing terror on the entire society.
“It was after the failure of the fourth opportunity that they angrily issued the fresh threat to start slaughtering their victims yesterday, Tuesday. After much pleading with them, tolerated abuses and begged them to allow individual family members to contact them directly, they gave today, Wednesday, 6th July, that if there is nothing definite from family members they will start executing their threat.
“I immediately passed this disturbing intelligence to all the relevant security agencies, the National Assembly leadership and other stakeholders. But sadly as at today, Wednesday, which is the deadline they gave, there is no word from anybody. I have nevertheless sent words to them to reconsider their threat and allow family members to reach out to them.
“And even on the tendency and threat to attack targets and other facilities of interest like the Kuje Correctional Centre attacks, I have shared that intelligence with the security agencies and the committee that was constituted by CDS Gen. Lucky Irabor.
“I can confirm without doubt that the Kuje Correctional Centre attack was executed and coordinated by the same group that attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train, because they gave indications of imminent attacks to that effect which I shared.
“For the records, they requested for the release of 51 of their members. But through power of dialogue and engagement, I was able to singlehandedly scale that number to only 10 and communicated with audio backing the development to the relevant authorities.
“There was unnecessary delay on giving them even a precise feedback by the government and now they have not only succeeded in carrying out another successful attack that indicts the nature of our intelligence and capacity to respond promptly, but have also succeeded in releasing dozens of their members which would have been averted if action has been taken to give them only 10 and secure the release of the train victims.
“In all this risky, painful and frustrating engagement which government is yet to acknowledge and appreciate, I have more than 100 documented audios that I shared with the relevant authorities.”
Mamu added that he had decided to no longer be involved in negotiations but was prevailed upon by Gumi not to withdraw.
He, however, said in the light of recent developments, he would be withdrawing his involvement from such negotiations over abductees.
“And for the records, since after our successful mission that led to the release of the 11 victims, I have made up my mind then to disengage completely from this voluntary service to a nation that doesn’t appreciate sacrifices, because of the above reasons and many more, but I was instructed on humanitarian grounds by my principal, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, to exercise patience and continue,” he said.
“But with the current sad development at the highest official level of government, I am formally announcing my withdrawal completely from this service and to announce to the world that my life is also being threatened.
“It should also be on record that if anything happens to me, certainly, it is not the terrorists but within the corrupt society we are in.”
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