By Kingsley Nwezeh
Security agencies have stepped up surveillance of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the two contiguous states of Nasarawa and Kogi to forestall planned attacks by the Boko Haram and Darul Salam.
The security beef-up followed an intelligence report that suspected terrorists were planning a grand offensive on the FCT and the two states.
The Nigeria Customs Service, in a circular signed by Comptroller (Enf HQ), Mr. H. A. Sabo, and dated September 4, had raised the alarm that Boko Haram insurgents had camped in and around the FCT and planning to attack selected targets in the nation’s capital.
It had called on Customs personnel to be security conscious all the time.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), however, reassured the residents of FCT and other adjoining states that the armed forces and other security agencies were on the red alert to combat crime and ensure effective surveillance.
The FCT Police Command also said it had activated intelligence gathering mechanism and crime-fighting measures to protect lives and property in the FCT.
THISDAY gathered at the weekend that massive troop deployment in the affected states, which began last Wednesday, had been intensified while enhanced security cordon was thrown around the nation’s capital.
Military checkpoints, jointly manned by police and intelligence officials, were mounted on Keffi, Lokoja-Abuja road up to Gwagwalada and other entry points into the FCT.
There was also more deployment of police patrol teams in strategic locations while plain-clothes detectives had been assigned to scan the FCT.
A statement by the Defence Headquarters reassured residents of FCT and other adjoining states that the armed forces and other security agencies were on the red alert to combat crime and ensure effective surveillance of the FCT and other states of the country.
It said: “This is imperative sequel to a purported memorandum from the Nigeria Customs Service warning its staff on a possible attack on the FCT. The Armed Forces of Nigeria, working together with other security and response agencies particularly the core intelligence agencies, hereby assure the general public that preventive and preemptive intelligence are ongoing. The general public is thus advised to go about their lawful businesses undeterred.
“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies wish to assure the general public that the offensives against the common enemies of this nation will not cease until normalcy is restored in all parts of the country.”
The statement signed by the Coordinator of the Directorate of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, urged the general public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to security agencies.
The FCT Police Command also said it had deployed intelligence gathering mechanism and crime-fighting measures to secure the FCT.
It said, in a statement, that the command was also working in synergy with other security agencies in its ongoing effort to strength security in FCT.
The command said it was committed to the protection of lives and property and forestall any act that could lead to a likely security breach.
The statement, signed by Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Anjuguri Manzah, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), urged FCT residents to report any suspicious persons or activities in and around their neighbourhoods at the nearest police station.