The Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has said that the outcome of the investigative report of the attacks on Owerri Custodial Centre by gunmen would shock Nigerians.
Aregbesola, who described the April 5 attack on the custodial facility in Owerri as the worst of its kind in Nigeria’s history, expressed outrage over the incident.
The Minister said when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited the centre, he asked “where are the casualties” because it appeared there was a pattern of coordinated attacks on the facility.
He said the Ministry and the Nigerian Correctional Service have launched an investigation into the incident.
“Let me say it loud and clear here when the investigation is concluded, Nigerians would know the roles played even by our officers in Owerri.
“But I must give kudos to our personnel in Bauchi, Kano and Lagos (Ikoyi) for their gallantry in frustrating attempts by intruders to attack our facilities. They did not allow small, small things to sway them from doing their jobs,” Aregbesola said.
He said the Federal Government would no longer tolerate any form of “successful” attacks on prison facilities, stating they are the symbols of authority as well as sovereignty and therefore must be defended at all cost.
The Minister spoke at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Abuja while addressing squadron commanders on the need to take their jobs more seriously.
Aregbesola warned whoever attempts to attack prison facilities in the country would henceforth regret it as the government has declared them red zones for intruders.
He enjoined the squadron commanders to use maximum force to defend the facilities, asserting in advanced countries such facilities are fortresses that no one would have the temerity to attack.
He maintained the facilities should henceforth be made impregnable, inviolable and indomitable by the squadron commanders against intruders as himself, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the Controller General of the Service were united in their resolve the facilities are safe and secure for all the occupants.