Residents Groan Amid Massive Security Cordon in Abuja

Ibrahim Magu
  •  Magu calls for inter-agency collaboration, wants CBN to track terror fund inflow 

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

There was massive security cordon and deployment of soldiers and policemen at major entry points to the Federal Capital Territory yesterday.

This is coming as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, called for collaboration amongst security agencies in order to contain terrorism.

He also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant agencies to track inflows of funds used by sponsors of terrorism. 

The deployment of soldiers snarled traffic along the Abuja-Nyanya-Keffi entry point to the city and the Lugbe-City Gate axis, causing commuters to wait long hours as soldiers scanned and conducted checks on vehicles and passengers.

The presence of soldiers, policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were also noticeable in other parts of the city.

“Before I came out of Nyanya today, it took me a long time because soldiers were everywhere and vehicles were moving at a snail pace because of the stop and search”, a civil servant, Linus, said.

When contacted, Army Spokesman, Col Sagir Musa, denied knowledge of the deployment.

“Why would soldiers be deployed? I am not aware of that”, he said.

The FCT Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma, said the deployment was part of the security beef up that accompany impending festive periods.

He said the security beef up was in place before the presidential inauguration.

“You know this is a festive period and we usually put measures in place to ensure security of the residents. “The measures had been in place since before the inauguration and we intend to sustain it until June 12 Democracy Day inauguration”, he explained.

THISDAY checks however showed that there was security intelligence pointing to a likely breach of security in the city. 

This was based on intelligence information provided by a western power.

Prior to the inauguration of President Buhari, the military had raised the alarm that some groups and individuals were plotting to scuttle the inauguration prompting the initial security arrangement.

Meanwhile, the EFCC Chairman has called for greater collaboration amongst security agencies in order to curb terrorism.

He said it was an essential ingredient needed to effectively combat corruption and terrorist financing in the country.

He made the call at the Inter-Agency Cooperation and Coordination Seminar, which held at the Army War College, Abuja, as part of the eight-month study programme for 66 senior officers of the Nigerian Army.

“Synergy among agencies will no doubt go a long way in ensuring that our country is safe, and there is need for more efforts in the investigation of where funds are gotten from,” he said.

Magu, who was represented by Chidi Chukwuka Boniface, a Director with the EFCC, enjoined other agencies and bodies such as the CBN to curb inflow of foreign currency.

“The CBN and other relevant agencies should be able to supervise these inflows and should find ways to track monies used in these insurgency,” he said.

He further stressed the need for all agencies in the country, to salvage the country from the grip of corruption, stressing that, “there is the need to fight corruption with total commitment and dedication as this is the only viable alternative available to us to move from where we are to a stable society”.

Director General, Services, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), James Akujobi, said inter-gency collaboration was essential to enhance joint efforts and cooperation among independent agencies with shared responsibilities and overlapping jurisdictions.

“Collaboration builds synergy and creates oneness to meet the common goals,” Akujobi said, noting that inter-agency collaboration also helps to address capability shortfalls.

On his part, the Commandant of the Army War College, Major General Charles Ofoche commended participants for a robust and rewarding session.  He said: “We all are instruments of the state, regardless of the colour of the uniforms we wear.”

A statement issued by spokesman of the Commision, Tony Orilade, said other agencies represented were Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Immigration Service, Department of States Service, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Prison Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, and the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps.