President Muhammadu Buhari, will today (Monday) hold an emergency meeting with security chiefs in Abuja.
Buhari, who was earlier scheduled to inaugurate the NASENI Complex, summoned the meeting which is expected to review and strengthen the security network in the country.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed in a statement on Sunday that the ceremony had been postponed.
This is happening against the backdrop of the Saturday bomb blast in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, which claimed 100 lives and injured about 300 persons. On Sunday, the death toll rose to 104.
Shehu’s statement titled, ‘President Buhari calls for an emergency security meeting, postpones NASENI complex commissioning,’ read, ‘’The President, who was initially scheduled to commission the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure new Technology and Innovation Complex, will receive briefs from the security chiefs, and interject on areas that need more attention.
The inauguration of the NASENI complex will hold at a later date.’’
Amid the travel advisories issued by the United States and the United Kingdom, Buhari had on Friday urged Nigerians to remain calm and vigilant.
Buhari, who stated that Nigerians’ safety remains the highest priority of the government, noted that security agents were proactively rooting out threats to keep citizens safe.
Speaking on the actions taken to keep the nation’s capital safe, the Spokesperson for the FCT Police, DSP Josephine Adeh said the Commissioner of Police, Babaji Sunday have been interfacing with stakeholders – estates, gardens and parks, motor parks, high-rise buildings and hotel owners in Abuja before the reported imminent terror attack alert.
She said, “The CP has been interfacing with stakeholders; estates, gardens and parks, motor parks, high-rise buildings, and hotel owners in the FCT before now. This is a routine, and it was not borne out of the reported imminent terror attack alert making the rounds.
“Our duty is to secure the FCT, the people and their properties, and we have been doing that even before now, and we’ve intensified our operation since the alert.
“The CP had met with hotel and high-rise building owners to ensure the installation of CCTV cameras on their premises for security reasons. He had met with estate owners not to allow hotels in the estates which are residential areas. We also relate with public transportation workers’ unions to ensure they know their drivers and workers. He has met with garden owners too, all to ensure security and safety.”
The Senior Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Attah Ikharo told reporters on Sunday that his unit had pulled down illegal settlements in Gwarimpa, Katampe and other unapproved areas in the capital.
“We discovered that people are building illegal shanties in cashew plantations and using them as bases for criminal activities. So, we have raided cashew forests in Gwarimpa, katampe, Bwari, Karsana District, Kubwa and in other places like Durumi which we will raid this week,’’ he stated.
Meanwhile, findings by our correspondent on Sunday indicate that churches in Abuja have reintroduced body search and scanning of worshippers and bags with electronic scanners in response to the terror alerts issued by some foreign missions last week.
Armed security officers were also seen at many of the worship centres visited by our correspondents on Sunday.
This is even as it was reported that the authorities may ask managers of residential estates to provide information on the inhabitants of their estates.
The development followed the arrest of two suspects at Trademore Estate last Monday amid concerns that many criminals and terror suspects may be using the estates as their operational bases.
At the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Praise Assembly Parish, Karu site, our correspondent spotted an unarmed civil defence officer on the street on patrol.
At the gate of the worship centre were two uniformed church security officers scanning the faithful with handheld scanners.
However, church attendance seemed to be unaffected regardless of the security situation.
The same situation was observed at the Apostolic Faith Church, Utako, where an armed police officer and two private guards manned the gate.
The guards conducted a check on worshippers before they were let into the church premises.
Patience, a parishioner said, “Where else do you expect me to go if I don’t come to church? I opened my shop last week with fear because I had no choice. I just hope that God would save us from this situation.”
Also at the Living Faith Church, Jikwoyi, worshippers trooped in their numbers to attend the Sunday service with the tents completely filled. There was no visible presence of security agencies.
The Celestial Church Christ, Central Cathedral at the Garki area of FCT had an impressive turnout with no security agent present.
Also, at the Apostolic Assembly in Wuse one of our correspondents observed the Church was filled but the private security guards on duty subjected members to a thorough search.
A member of the church, Pelumi Fasogbon said, ‘’As Christians, times like this have been predicted in the Bible and the only thing to do is to seek the face of God. Moreover, the church leadership is not leaving anything to chance.”
The Security Committee of the Federal Capital Territory, in a newly-introduced Code of Conduct, has barred members of FCT vigilante groups operating in communities from using firearms.
FCT Director of Information and Communication, Muhammad Sule made this known in a statement released on Sunday, following the Committee’s 11th meeting, presided over by the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello.
He said the newly-established Code of Conduct prohibited members of the group from carrying firearms without the presence of an officer of the Nigerian Police Force or express permission granted by the Divisional Police Officer of the jurisdiction where they operate.
Troops of the Nigerian Army have killed no fewer than seven terrorists during a clearance operation in Kaduna State.
While four were eliminated in Maidaro, Kagi Hill, Kusharki and Anguwan Madaki in Birnin Gwari local government, three others were killed along Sabon Birnin road.