Nigeria: Security Chiefs Update Buhari On Terror Alert, Travel Advisories

Some foreign missions in Nigeria recently warned their citizens of possible terror attacks in Nigeria, particularly in the capital, Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently meeting with security chiefs to further review and strengthen the nation’s security network.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president suspended some of his official engagements including the inauguration of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) new Technology and Innovation complex to preside over the emergency meeting with the security chiefs.

Those in attendance of the meeting include Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, a retired major general.

Others are, Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo; and the Chief of Air Staff, Isiaka Amao.

Also in attendance are the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai.

The president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, had said on Sunday that Mr Buhari would be meeting with the security chiefs.

Mr Shehu said the president would receive briefs from security chiefs and brainstorm on the way forward.

Mr Buhari had, on Friday, advised the nation’s security establishments and Nigerians to continue to be vigilant, and not to panic.

He was reacting to travel advisories issued by the UK, Canada and the US and urged citizens to remain calm.

The governments of the countries had warned their citizens of possible terror attacks in Nigeria, particularly in the capital, Abuja.

According to a security advisory by the US embassy in Nigeria on its website, there is “an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja.”

The embassy further disclosed that the targets may include but are not limited to government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organizations.

As a result of this, the embassy said, it will offer reduced services until further notice.

It advised Americans in Nigeria to avoid all non-essential travel or movement, stay alert, avoid crowds, and follow local news and the advice of security authorities.

On its part, the British High Commission in Nigeria, said “There is an increased threat of terrorist attack in Abuja. You should stay alert, consider movements carefully, follow the local news and the advice of security authorities,” the UK advisory stated.

However, the Nigerian government had earlier dismissed the advisories, insisting that the country, including her capital Abuja was safe for citizens and foreigners.

It also said each country has its security challenges.

“I want to reassure both citizens, non-Nigerians, Nigerians living in this country, that security agencies are on top of this matter.

Of course, the terrorists would not stop to try to embarrass or intimidate government but what I’m saying is that this country is safe. And there’s no cause for alarm. No cause to panic,” the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said.

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