10 Zuba: An Abuja sub­urb where crime thrives

A few kilo­me­tres from Abuja city cen­tre, Zuba, is be­com­ing a crim­i­nal hub rais­ing con­cerns among res­i­dents, se­cu­rity agen­cies and the tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tion.

Weekly Trust - - News - Abubakar Sadiq Isah

Zuba is a thriv­ing com­mu­nity un­der Gwag­wal­ada Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT). It is sit­u­ated on the fringes of Abuja cen­tral city and shares bound­ary with Madalla in Niger State.

Apart from be­ing a gate­way to the FCT, Zuba is also lo­cated on the ma­jor high­way that linked Kaduna-Kano as well as Lokoja, Kogi State, to ma­jor cities of the south.

But, the com­mu­nity has over the years wit­nessed cases of crimes such as armed rob­bery, car snatch­ing, hand bag snatch­ing, mo­tor­cy­cle snatch­ing, pick pock­et­ing, house/shop break as well as kid­nap­pings.

In fact, these crimes surged re­cently caus­ing con­cern in the com­mu­nity due its prox­im­ity and gate­way sta­tus to the Abuja city cen­tre.

Daily Trust re­called that on Septem­ber 23, some sus­pects were ar­rested and pa­raded by the FCT Po­lice Com­mand for al­legedly op­er­at­ing an il­le­gal fire arms fac­tory at Shenagu vil­lage, near Zuba. The po­lice, who gave the name of the owner of the fire arm fac­tory as Philip John, One­gabueze Ok­para, as the sup­plier and Joseph Bu­lus, as the dis­trib­u­tor.

The po­lice had dur­ing the raid of the fac­tory re­cov­ered items to in­clude a lo­cally fab­ri­cated re­volver pis­tol cylin­der, four dane guns, one dou­ble-bar­rel gun, one sin­gle­bar­rel among other weapons.

The po­lice said it was dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion that John con­fessed to have been in the il­licit busi­ness for 17 years and sell­ing the fab­ri­cated sin­gle-bar­rel and dane guns for N20, 000 and N10, 000 each re­spec­tively.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, prior to the dis­cov­ery of the arms fac­tory, two sus­pected armed rob­bers were also ar­rested at Zuba fly-over on their way for an op­er­a­tion in Minna, Niger State.

Also, on Oc­to­ber 18, a fiveyear-old girl, iden­ti­fied as As­mau, was said to have been kid­napped at Zuba, af­ter a res­i­dent of the area, Hus­saini Hamza, said she was on an er­rand to buy cook­ing sauce cubes for a nearby shop.

He said the girl’s mother, who waited for sev­eral hours her daugh­ter raised the alarm af­ter the girl did not re­turn for hours. In fact, she has still not been found.

These in­ci­dences among oth­ers trig­gered the Agora of Zuba, Al­haji Muhammed Bello Umar, to call for a se­cu­rity meet­ing at his palace on Oc­to­ber 23 to nib in the bud the ris­ing crime rates. Vil­lage and district heads, tra­di­tional rulers, com­mu­nity and se­cu­rity agents were in at­ten­dance.

Daily Trust gath­ered that six chil­dren were so far sus­pected

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, prior to the dis­cov­ery of the arms fac­tory, two sus­pected armed rob­bers were also ar­rested at Zuba fly-over on their way for an op­er­a­tion in Minna, Niger State

to have been kid­napped in his do­main. As if that was not enough, on Novem­ber, 5, two kids were re­ported to have been kid­napped at An­guwar Pawa and An­guwar Gal­adima in Zuba. They are two and half years Us­man Yakubu and one year six months Ahmed Is­maila.

It was leant had the two kids were play­ing in front of their houses when they were ab­ducted.

The Sarkin Padan of Zuba chief­dom, Al­haji Muham­mad Mur­tala, who con­firmed the miss­ing of the two kids, said the Agora has di­rected all Imams and pas­tors to em­bark on prayers so that those be­hind steal­ing chil­dren in his chief­dom are ex­posed.

A mem­ber of the vig­i­lante group in the area who pre­ferred anonymity said they are frus­trated in the dis­charge of their du­ties by the po­lice in the area, es­pe­cially when­ever they ar­rest a sus­pect and handed them over.

He said the po­lice had not been co­op­er­at­ing with the vig­i­lante in or­der to al­low them carry out ar­rests by as­sist­ing in raid­ing crim­i­nals hide­outs.

He ex­plained that: “In fact, there is no day that we don’t go out with­out car­ry­ing out ar­rests be­cause most of these crim­i­nals stay and lodge at ho­tels here in Zuba and Tun­gan Maje. You can imag­ine some­one lodg­ing in a ho­tel for two months and if you find out, such per­son is not work­ing and the po­lice know some of them.”

Ac­cord­ing to him, when­ever the vig­i­lantes ar­rest even a mo­tor­cy­cle thief in the area, a po­lice of­fi­cer would put a call across re­quest­ing that such mo­tor­cy­cle be re­leased to the sus­pect, a sit­u­a­tion that dis­cour­ages them from em­bark­ing on pa­trol.

“There were times when we ar­rest a sus­pect, the sus­pect will be brag­ging that even if we take him to the po­lice sta­tion, we should give him two to three hours that he would be re­leased, and truly we have been com­ing across such sus­pects,” he added.

The vig­i­lante added that Tun­gan Maje is an­other area some of the crim­i­nals hide and later at night come out to at­tack their vic­tims by dis­pos­sess­ing them of their valu­ables.

The vig­i­lante mem­ber gave the names of some of the black spots where some of the crim­i­nals hide to in­clude, Un­cle P brothel at Tun­gan Maje, An­guwar Ja­hanama road, Zuba, and I.K brothel, Ikwa, stress­ing that these are the ar­eas some of the crim­i­nals relax and at night go out to strike.

The Agora told Daily Trust that the spate of miss­ing chil­dren has be­come a night­mare not only to him but the en­tire chief­dom la­ment­ing that just within the last one month, six chil­dren were miss­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to him, it was on that premise that he sug­gested to se­cu­rity agents on the need to li­aise with Okada unions to ad­vice their mem­bers to start us­ing re­flec­tive jack­ets for easy iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

He said even when the is­sue of dis­cov­ery of an il­le­gal fire arms fac­tory at Shenagu came up, he im­me­di­ately sum­moned the vil­lage chiefs of Shenagu, Tun­gan Malam Has­san and Chi­tumu on the mat­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the palace has not rested on its oars in en­sur­ing that it holds peace and se­cu­rity meet­ings that in­volve all vil­lage chiefs and district heads and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous se­cu­rity agents ev­ery month to de­lib­er­ate on se­cu­rity of lives and prop­erty of res­i­dents.

The tra­di­tional ruler said he would be meet­ing with the FCT Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Sadiq Abubakar Bello and the FCT min­is­ter, Muham­mad Musa Bello, on the need to pro­vide more se­cu­rity to Zuba, in or­der to ad­dress crim­i­nal­ity in the area.

The FCT Po­lice Com­mand spokesper­son, DSP An­juguri Manza, said the com­mand has al­ways been li­ais­ing with all the rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers in the area to check­mate any form of crime at Zuba.

He said the com­mand had also car­ried out sev­eral ar­rests of sus­pected armed rob­bers in the area who were charged to court and con­victed.

He added that the com­mand has de­ployed plain clothes of­fi­cers and de­tec­tives who have al­ways been pa­trolling Zuba axis and its en­vi­rons in or­der to check­mate ac­tiv­i­ties of sus­pected crim­i­nals.

The vig­i­lante added that Tun­gan Maje is an­other area some of the crim­i­nals hide and later at night come out to at­tack their vic­tims by dis­pos­sess­ing them of their valu­ables

Sus­pects ar­rested by the FCT Po­lice Com­mand for op­er­at­ing an il­le­gal arms fac­tory at Shenagu, near Zuba.

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