IT was shocking on Tuesday as bandits, in the early hours of the day, breached security and stormed the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) located at Afaka in Kaduna State, killed two officers, abducted one other and left two others injured.
Security has, however, been beefed up in Mando as a result of the development as the authorities stated that none of the cadets was abducted by the bandits.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that Lieutenant-Commodore Wulah and Flight-Lieutenant C.M. Okoronwo were shot dead, while Major Datong was abducted.
Another officer, Onah, sustained a gunshot injury and currently receiving treatment in NDA Medical Centre.
A few months ago, bandits had stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, which shares a border with the NDA and abducted over 50 students.
A source at the NDA said the bandits came through the back around 1.00 a.m. and cut the iron fence before making their way into the Academy quarters.
Reacting, NDA spokesman, Major Bashir Muhammad Jajira, in a statement later on Tuesday, said gunmen stormed the residential quarters of the Academy, leading to death of two personnel while one other was abducted.
He said the academy, in conjunction with the 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Air Force and other security agencies are tracking the hoodlums.
“The security architecture of the Nigerian Defence Academy was compromised early this morning by gunmen who gained access into the residential area within the Academy in Afaka. During the unfortunate incident, we lost two personnel and one was abducted.
“The Academy in collaboration with the 1 Division Nigerian Army and Air Training Command, as well as other security agencies in Kaduna State has since commenced pursuit of the gunmen within the general area, with a view to tracking them and rescuing the abducted personnel.
“The NDA community and cadets are safe in the Academy. We assure the general public that these gunmen would soon be apprehended and the abducted personnel rescued,” the statement read.
When the Nigerian Tribune visited the area in the morning, soldiers and security personnel were deployed in the entire area in strategic locations.
Founding fathers didn’t establish NDA for bandits to take over -ACF
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), reacting to the development, said the founding fathers of Nigeria did not establish the NDA for bandits to take over.
It said the NDA is not for the North, but the pride of Nigeria. In a statement issued by the forum and signed by the national publicity secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, it described as sad that ordinary street bandits would invade an institution where other African countries send their officers for training.
“We of the ACF have said it again and again that there is everything seriously wrong with the management of our security.
“The other day, a Nigerian Airforce fighter aircraft was shot down by the so-called bandits. Today, the factory where all Nigerian military officers are produced has been invaded and desecrated,” the statement read.
It commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and prayed that the abducted officer will be rescued and the criminals brought to book.
Attack indicates a collapse in Nigeria’s intelligence network – Northern elders
A group of northern elders, under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEPD), attributed Tuesday’s attack on the NDA to the failure of Nigeria’s intelligence network.
The organisation, which said the development was an indication that no Nigerian, no matter his or her status, is safe in the country, therefore, demanded immediate sack of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd).
The elders sought a review of the entire security architecture, as, according to them, the entire security chiefs must bear the blame.
In a statement by its national coordinator, Zana Goni, the group blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for leaving Monguno behind at the time he replaced the service chiefs.
“The fact that a fortified military institution could be so easily invaded by armed militias without resistance has left us with the conclusion that no part of this country and no citizen, no matter his or status, is safe again,” the group said.
It’s an embarrassment to Nigeria — ASOMBEN
Piqued by the invasion of NDA, the Association of Middle Belt Ethnic Nationalities (ASOMBEN) described the attack on one of the highest military institutions in the country as an embarrassment and disgrace to the country. The national president of the association, Sule Kwasau, said the incident depicted that terrorists were gradually closing in on the government and advancing to decimate security agencies.
“It is a shame and embarrassment, it shows that we do not have military in this country anymore. It shows there’s a laxity in the security architecture of this country. It also shows the nonchalant attitude of the government to rejig security architecture of this country.
“I can’t imagine that bandits could gain access to NDA, killed and abducted military officers without being apprehended. This is sad and at the same time an embarrassment,” he said.
Successive attacks on govt institutions in Afaka worrisome -Residents
The attack on the permanent site of the NDA at Afaka, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, has again raised concern about the government’s drive to tackle the menace of insecurity bedevilling the country. A community leader in Afaka Community Development Association, Tasiu Musa, said siting of NDA in the community was a welcome development, greeted by the residents of the area. “We are happy also to state that presence of some Federal Government’s institutions like the Kaduna airport, Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation and the Nigerian Defence Academy, made us proud. However, these institutions are becoming target of attacks and bringing misery to the community,” he said.
Findings by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the first attack took place at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, followed by the attack at Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) quarters and today (Tuesday), NDA, which is sharing fence with the forestry college. There is tension in the community over the attack with youths in the barrack currently being interrogated by intelligence officers.
Some of the residents condemned the attack and expressed the fear that it might not be the end of it. One of the civilian workers in the Academy, Mallam Hassan Umar, affirmed that “one cannot honestly comprehend how a group of bandits would break the perimeter fence and walked down without to attack a facility inside the Academy,” adding that “I think we are no longer safe.”
Another civilian staff who pleaded anonymity said he left his former house in the metropolis to stay in the Academy, believing that it was safe.
Speaking in an interview, a retired master warrant officer, Yusuf Usman, said what happened was beyond imagination. A retired General who would not like his name in print contended that with the security apparatus in place, he was still imagining how a group of bandits will enter the academy and commit the crime.
Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Honourable Yusuf Zailani, described the attack on the Academy as an assault on Nigeria’s territorial integrity. He said the invasion, killing and abduction at the Academy must be treated with all seriousness.
In a statement signed by his special assistant on media and publicity, Ibrahim Dahiru Danfulani, the speaker said, “It is disheartening and unfortunate for such an attack to have taken place, catching those in charge of its internal security off guard.”
While commending Nigeria’s security personnel for making efforts to decimate bandits and insurgents nationwide, he said they should not let the NDA incident demoralise them.