A retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Austin Iwar, has said that the entire security in Aso Rock has failed. He, therefore, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to replace all the security personnel in the Villa.
Iwar, who spoke in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, was reacting to the burglary attempt carried out by armed robbers on the Aso Rock residence of the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
He described the security breach as a very embarrassing one considering the fact that the Aso Rock should be one of the most protected places in the country.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said there was an attempt by armed robbers to burgle the residence of Gambari, early Monday.
“The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has confirmed that there ‘was a foolish attempt’ to burgle his residence at 3:00am this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful.
“Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident,” Shehu had stated in a two-part tweet on Monday night.
The disclosure caused a stir in the country as common Nigerians wonder what becomes of their fate if the presidency, with its entire security fortress, could be invaded by armed robbers who further launched a burglary attempt.
Speaking with The PUNCH, Iwar, a retired assistant IGP, said the burglary attempt could have been launched by insiders and if it was launched by outsiders, that showed that the security agencies have a false sense of security in Aso Villa.
He said, “There are two things we have to look at here. It is either it is an in-house thing; that is people working within the Aso Rock there that made an attempt to burgle the house or maybe this is also a reflection of the lack of security that has made everywhere porous including where the president is living. This calls for serious discussion as to how to fortify where the president stays.”
“What has happened to Gambari is an indication of the level of the insecurity in this country,” he noted.
Continuing, the former AIG said, “All the security agents that are there should be replaced, all of them should be replaced because the presidency should be one of the most protected areas of any country.
“If we have this kind of security breach in the presidency, what it calls for is to carry out a threat assessment and a risk assessment of the presidency and the environment. New security structures and strategies should be in place to protect that area. The entire security agents there should be changed immediately and new, dedicated ones should be brought in and they should be made to swear an oath of allegiance.”
On the escalating security crisis in Nigeria, Iwar lamented that it was very sad that the government was finding it difficult to secure the country despite the huge amount of money spent on security. He, therefore, called that all hands must be on deck, and the government must act fast to secure the country.