Armed robbers attack Aso Rock Villa – Presidency

Armed robbers attack Aso Rock Villa – Presidency

Charles Nwoke, Abuja, Nigeria

May 11, 2021

Unknown gunmen suspected to be robbers in the early hours of Monday, invaded the residences of two senior aides to President Muhammadu Buhari inside the precinct of the Presidential Villa (Aso Rock), increasing anxiety that the high spate of security challenges across the country was drawing closer to the political elites than previously estimated.

Confirming the unfortunate incident, the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, said on Monday that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00 this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful.

According to sources, the security threat prompted Ibrahim Gambari and Abubakar Maikano, the Chief of Staff and Admin Officer, respectively, to flee their residences. 

The hoodlums equally made away with whooping sums of money and valuable items from the Villa.

“Their houses were robbed and the robbers packed money and other valuable assets from both houses,” a source in the Villa told The Gazette.

A security source from the Villa equally confirmed the incident that “The robbers took away as much as possible from both places.” He however stated that “What is more unfortunate is that no one has been arrested,” over the issue.

It was not immediately clear whether or not important documents of state interest were stolen by the intruders, but The Gazette gathered that the inhabitants of the place were thoroughly ransacked.

Meanwhile, a Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu has confirmed the unfortunate incident to today.

He said, “Armed men suspected to be robbers invaded the residences of two senior aides to President Muhammadu Buhari inside the precinct of the Presidential Villa.”

Shehu has also taken to his Twitter handle to confirm the incident and explain to the world about the new development.

Ibrahim Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has also assured Nigerians that there is nothing to worry about from the incident.

Officials said Gambari was given an official residence at the Defence House but has not been living there, rather, he prefers to live inside Aso Rock Villa instead and be close to the president.

Nigeria’s presidential house situated just at the western part of the city center has long been seen as highly fortified and far beyond the reach of burglars, bandits, and other criminals currently holding the vast swathes of the country to ransom.

But as criminal activities overshadow other matters of national consequences, Buhari has faced calls to act urgently before it would be too late or he should resign.

 Armed bandits have kidnapped thousands of citizens since January alone, claiming billions in ransom payments at an alarming rate.

No explanation was immediately given for the invasion and why it was not prevented by the ubiquitous contingent of security officers, especially those of the State Security Service, guarding the fortress.

A spokesman for the SSS said he would not comment on the matter and a spokesperson for the police in Abuja abruptly hanged up the call upon hearing The Gazette’s inquiry was about a security breach at the Presidential Villa.