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Security tightened in Plateau prison after Kuje prison attack

Tight security is in place in and around the Correctional Centre in Jos, the capital of Plateau State, on Wednesday following the attacks by gunmen believed to be Boko Haram members at Kuje Correctional Centre on Tuesday night, which resulted in the escape of over 600 prisoners.

When our correspondent visited the institution on Wednesday afternoon, the entrance to the correctional center, which is located across from the Police Command Headquarters, was blocked off with an iron bar.

Vehicles on the route were seen to only be let to pass after being thoroughly searched by security personnel manning the checkpoint.

The prison’s grounds, where the roofs have not yet been restored after they were removed for repairs some months ago, were patrolled by armed members of the Department of the State Security Service and other security personnel.

Efforts to to communicate with the spokesman for the Nigeria Correctional Service’s Plateau State Command were unsuccessful.

Under the condition of anonymity, a senior official of the service on Wednesday said that they were not taking the security breach at the Kuje for granted.

The source said, “What do you expect us to do if not to step up security in this place?

You know that the attack on Kuje prison is a daring one by those who perpetrated it. Nigerians are talking about it and we are not taking it for granted because we don’t want what happened in Kuje to happen here again at the Jos Correctional Centre.

“I’m sure other prison facilities across the country may have taken extra measures to safeguard their facilities too. Moreover, you are aware that a similar attack happened here at the Jos Correctional Centre recently in November last year where over 200 inmates also escaped while others died during the attack by gunmen.

“I know that after the attack, a search team was put in place to recapture the fleeing inmates but I’m not sure if all of them have been recaptured up till now. So, if you see an unusual security presence around Jos Correctional Centre, especially given the security challenge we are facing at the moment, you can understand why we are doing what we are doing.”

Alabo Alfred, the Plateau State Police Command’s spokesman, added that the command was doing everything possible to guarantee sufficient security in the state.

“The Commissioner of Police does that (deployment of personnel) every time to protect the headquarters and other facilities from coming under attack. If you see additional deployment of police personnel to the command headquarters or elsewhere, maybe the attack on Kuje prison is just a pointer to what we have been doing because it is a normal routine for the CP to ensure the security of lives and property in the state,” The PPRO added.

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