May 30, 2020

Kidnapping: Pegi residents protest in Abuja

Worried by the recent rate of insecurity in Pegi community, a resettlement in Kuje Area Council, some residents of the area on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest.

The protesters barricaded the entrance to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Secretariat at Area 11, in Garki-Abuja.

They were holding placards with inscriptions such as “Kidnappers on rampage in Kuje”; “Government should come to our aid” and “Give us security in Pegi community.”

The protesters alleged the FCTA had failed to complete the road project linking Kuje town to the community, and have distorted the original master plan of the community.

Some gunmen dressed in military camouflage, on Monday night, fired shots at vehicles and over four people were kidnapped and some residents were seriously injured.

About four persons, including a 10-year-old boy, were among the victims that were kidnapped on Monday in the community.

Chairman of Pegi Residents Association, Mr. Taiwo Aderibigbe, frowned at the neglect of the community, noting that the area lacks access road, healthcare facilities, security and other infrastructure.

Aderibigbe noted that the Pegi community, with a population of about 13, 000 residents, needs a police division, instead of a police outpost to tackle growing insecurity in the area.

The protest, he said was aimed at drawing the attention of authorities to the insecurity, negligence and hardship experienced by residents.

His words: “The master plan of Pegi Resettlement site that was originally mapped out in 2005 by the former Minister of the FCT, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, had been altered.

“This community has suffered hardship as a result of infrastructural deficit and security challenges”.

He said that the activities of armed robbers and motorcycle-snatchers have become rampant adding that: “They always take advantage of the bad road linking the community to attack innocent residents, especially civil servants while (they are) returning from work.

“The attackers could not be less than 20, as they fired indiscriminately. Bullets deflated tyres and created deep holes on vehicles.”

He said the Monday attack was the second time that kidnapping was recorded in the community recently.

“More than six persons were kidnapped in 2018 at the same location. We are pleading with relevant authorities to come to our rescue.

“We, the residents of Pegi community have been neglected and several distortions have been made to the original master plan of our community, we call on the government to also intervene.

“We are also calling on the Kuje Area Council and FCT Minister to come and address the rising spate of insecurity in our community,” he appealed.

Addressing residents of Pegi community, FCT Minister of

State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, pleaded with the protesters to give the administration the chance to address the security challenges in the area.

Aliyu disclosed that the administration has revoked the contract for the road project and is in processes of re-awarding it to a more competent construction firm that would do a better job on the road within a short time.

The minister also revealed that FCTA is not only working towards recovering the kidnapped victims of the community but also working to arrest the culprits, even as she pleaded with residents of the community to assist in giving adequate information on whereabouts of the kidnapped victims.

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