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FG reassures Nigerians, pushes back against US, UK

Last updated on October 12th, 2023 at 06:14 pm

Against the backdrop of the terror alerts issued by both the United States and the United Kingdom last week, the Federal Government, on Monday, reassures Nigerians to go about their lawful businesses as the country is safe and secure.

The government also came down hard on the United States Mission in Nigeria, the British High Commission and other foreign missions over the terror alerts they issued last week.

The Federal Government dismissed the security advisories, describing them as false, insisting that it was irresponsible to give signals of heightened insecurity in the country when there was no basis for it.

The National Security Adviser, Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (retd.) stated this after the emergency meeting of the National Security Council summoned by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Experts, however, advised the government to exercise caution in its outright dismissal of the security warning.

The US, UK, and later by Canada, Germany and Bulgaria had warned their nationals in Nigeria of an impending terrorist attack and asked them to avoid travel to Abuja.

They noted that suspected terrorists could target government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, sports gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organizations.

The US subsequently permitted its non-essential staff and their family members to leave the country in updated travel advice.

The warnings triggered panic and tension across the country, especially in Abuja, the nation’s capital as many workers stayed away from the office while the roads were devoid of traffic.

In response to the apprehension created by the alert, the popular Jabi Mall and a construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc shut down, citing security concerns.

To allay fears, the security forces launched a counter-intelligence operation which led to the arrest of several terror suspects, including two persons at the Trademore Estate, Lugbe, a satellite town in the Federal Capital.

The operatives also carried out patrols while the military and police mounted checkpoints at strategic parts of the capital city.

But briefing correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Monguno reassured Nigerians that there was no cause for alarm and urged the citizens and other residents to go about their businesses without any sense of apprehension.