CEM REPORT, SECURITY | The governments of Germany, Bulgaria, Ireland and Denmark have cautioned their citizens against non-essential travel to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital over a heightened risk of terror attacks.
The travel advisories have come a few days after the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada warned of a possible terror attack in Abuja.
Also, the United Kingdom and the United States, have updated their travel advisories warning their citizens against travelling to Abuja.
The embassies had listed targets to include schools, government buildings, hotels, markets, shopping malls, bars, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, restaurants, places of worship and international organisations.
Other countries aligned with the position of the US and the UK after a series of meetings, intelligence sharing and “incontrovertible proof of imminent danger.”
Daily Trust reports that “Late last week, a suspect was nabbed near the US Embassy at the Central Area allegedly spying on the surroundings.
“Also, explosive devices were found near the entrance of a compound housing US staff on Saturday, October 22,” the source said. The source added that after gathering intelligence on the plan to attack US citizens and other expatriates, the US government decided to send Special Forces to Abuja to analyse the threat.”
Contacted on Thursday to comment on the action taken by Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland and Denmark, Lai Mohammed asked Daily Trust to send him the “Links of the stories of Denmark, Germany, Bulgaria and Ireland to properly dimension my response.”
The UK government through an updated travel advice on October 26th to British nationals by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which was posted on its website adviced against all but essential travel to the Federal Capital Territory, including the city of Abuja.
The updated advice outlines that there is an increased threat of terrorist attacks in Abuja. British nationals are advised to stay alert, avoid non-essential travel within the city and follow the local news and the advice of security authorities.
The US on its part has also advised its citizens to consider departing Abuja using available commercial options.
It adds “US citizens who wish to depart but are unable to secure commercial options to do so can contact the US Consulate in Lagos.”
Meanwhile, the federal government through the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed had since dismissed the advisories and specifically said the United States was also not safe.
Similarly, Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has however allayed the fears of Nigerians and assured them of safety, even as he has rolled our emergency numbers across the country.
A statement by Force Headquarters, said, the IG has charged all Strategic Police Managers in charge of Commands and tactical formations within the country to beef up security in their respective jurisdictions, especially in the FCT.
“The IGP, therefore, allays the fear of residents in the FCT and admonishes them to go about their lawful businesses and normal social lives/engagements as all hands are on deck to nip any security threat in the bud and respond to distress calls promptly.”
The IG also directed that all emergency numbers across the country should be activated to full capacity for a 24/7 prompt response with combatant officers and men on standby to respond in case of emergencies and distress calls.
“Residents within the FCT are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious or abnormal occurrence and persons to the Police through the following emergency lines: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883.”
Despite the assurance of the police and the minister of information the management of Play Nightclub, Transcorp Hilton has said starting today, Friday, October 28, it has said the decision to shut down was taken due to the alleged imminent attack on the federal capital.
In a statement, the management stated that although it had faith in its own security arrangements and that of the prestigious hotel, it had resolved to halt operations to allow additional layers of protection for staff and customers.
“This is to inform the public that following management advisory from the Transcorp Hilton Hotel on the perception of an increased risk of potential attacks in the Federal Capital Territory, the management of Play Nightclub residents at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel will be shutting down operations from Friday the 28th of October for a duration of two weeks.
“While we are confident in the security not only of our facility, but of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in general, we will nonetheless in the advised window, implement additional layers of security coverage for the comfort and confidence of our customers, whose safety remains of paramount consideration to us, above all else.“We thank you immensely for your loyalty, as we rely on your continued support, cooperation, and patronage upon reopening,” the facility managers.”