We ‘re ready for any eventuality –Army
FOUR days to the celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir festival, the Federal Government has put all security forces on nationwide security alert.
A top security source told Saturday Tribune last night that the charge from the Federal Government was for an inter-agency surveillance and combat readiness for a hitch-free Sallah celebrations.
Specifically, it was gathered that security operatives were asked to pay particular attention to prayer grounds, shopping malls, public parks and other relaxation centres across the country during the celebrations. Members of the public were also warned to be careful of wrapped gifts, the sources of which are not known.
The order, it was gathered, followed fears in government and security circles that the extremist Boko Haram sect might be plotting to strike during the festive period.
All security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were on Friday put on red alert to forestall any breach of security.
Troops of the Guard Brigade are also complementing the efforts of the police in stop-and-search operations.
Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, told the Saturday Tribune that the Army was always on the alert everyday of the week and that there was no cause for alarm.
He said, “The Nigerian Army has put its strategies in place for any eventuality and so, there is nothing to worry about.”
Informed security sources told Saturday Tribune that all the security agencies’ heads had been directed to be at their duty posts during the celebrations.
According to the sources, all troops in the states where state of emergency is in force have been directed not to travel out of their stations.
Also, the security agencies were said to have been directed to intensify their stop-and-search operations as terrorists might want to infiltrate innocent citizens.
In Abuja, police have rolled out their armored personnel carriers in strategic positions while surveillance has also been intensified.
No fewer than 28,000 conventional and mobile policemen have been drafted to different parts of Lagos State to ensure a hitch-free Sallah celebration in the state.
Police authorities said they had also deployed an unspecified number of personnel to shopping malls, cinemas and other public places during the celebrations.
This was on Friday evening confirmed to the Saturday Tribune by the acting Public Relations Officer in charge of the command, Mr. Damasus Ozoani, who expressed the readiness of the police for the celebrations.
“The highways, economic places of interest and other public places will experience high presence of police personnel during the period,” he said.
He also enjoined residents of the state to report any breach of the peace to the nearest police station in their area.
Saturday Tribune investigations revealed that men of the anti-bomb squad and the state security outfit, Rapid Response Squad, would also be drafted to major prayer grounds in the state.
AS Muslim faithful prepare for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, the Osun State command of the Nigeria police says it has put effective security network in place to guarantee peaceful and crime-free celebrations.
In a statement on Friday, signed by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs. Folasade Odoro, the Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Dorothy Gimba, assured residents of the state of adequate security and urged them to go about their businesses without fear, adding that policemen would step up patrol to ensure peace and tranquility.
While imploring residents to volunteer prompt and useful information in case of any noticeable breach of peace, Mrs. Gimba said security operatives had been put in strategic locations to maintain law and order.
Also, the Jigawa State police command says it has enough police to handle all challenges during this year’s Muslim Eid festival.
The acting Police Commissioner in the state, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mohammed K. Mohammed, told Saturday Tribune in a telephone interview that the command had mapped out strategies to secure lives and properties during the period.
He said the police would work with other security agencies to provide effective security “during the days of the celebration and even after.
“Our men and officers will be stationed at strategic areas while enough vehicles and other policemen in mufti will be put on surveillance,” he said.
On his own part, the Public Relations Officer of the Edo State command, Moses Eguavoen, said “We know that Sallah period is a special one for Muslim faithful, so we are prepared to make Muslims enjoy it without fear.
“Right now, I can’t tell you the number of officers that has been deployed or will be deployed, but I can tell you that the operation order is out. By Monday, assignments will be handed out to everyone on what to do and where to go.”
He added that the command would not want to be caught off-guard and that finishing touches on how to tackle possible security breaches during the celebration would be completed by Monday.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ogun State command, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the command, in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, had put security measures in place to ensure a hitch-free Sallah celebration.
Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said there would be operational patrol within the major cities across the state, and that security personnel would be deployed to all prayer grounds.
He told Saturday Tribune that security meetings with all relevant stakeholders had been held to make the celebration a worthwhile one.
Spokesman for the Rivers State police command, Ahmed Muhammad (DSP), said the command had taken all necessary precautions to ensure a hitch-free Sallah celebration in the state.
“The command is up and doing to ensure a hitch-free Sallah. An operation has been mapped out. Our men – both overt and covert – will be deployed to all vulnerable spots to proactively contain any unwarranted event,” he said.
Security agencies in Kwara State have expressed their preparedness to ensure crime-free and hitch-free Eid-el-Kabir celebrations in all parts of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Mr. Femi Fabode, told Saturday Tribune on Friday that the command had drawn up strategies to arrest any security problem, adding that all men and officers would be involved.
He said that every member of the command would be on duty on the day of Sallah celebration.
Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kadiri Olanrewaju Ibrahim, said the command had deployed 5,000 of its officers and men to all Eid praying grounds in all the 16 councils in the state.
He said the officers of the agency would move around during and after the celebration to ensure crime-free festival.
In her own contribution, the sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission in the state, Mrs. Mary Wakawa, appealed to motorists to drive carefully and avoid excessive-speeding, over-loading, dangerous overtaking and obstruction, as well as avoid night travels during the period.
Sokoto State police command has also assured residents of the state of its commitment to secure lives and properties during the celebration.
The PPRO, DSP Almustapha Sanni, said on Friday that officers and men of the command would embark on a ‘Show of Force’ as part of the command’s preparedness to ensure security during the period.
Sanni said the command would deploy enough manpower in all parts of the state to ensure a hitch-free celebration.
He called on residents of the state to support officers and men of the command during and after the celebrations.
As part of the comprehensive plan by the Niger State police command to ensure a hitch-free celebration, the Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Desire D. Nsirim, has placed officers and men as well as other special operatives on red alert across the state.
In a statement on Friday by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard A. Oguche, the police boss in the state specifically directed Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers, including the Marine Unit, to ensure adequate and effective deployment of operational tools and manpower within their divisions and to pay special attention to the prayer grounds, public parks, water falls, highways and other sensitive areas in order to guarantee the safety and well being of the citizenry before, during and after the festive period.
Oyo State police command said it had put in place an “impregnable security arrangement” for the Ed-el-Kabir celebrations, urging members of the public to go about their lawful businesses and celebration without fear as both plain-clothed and uniformed policemen have been deployed across the state to provide security before, during and after the celebrations.
According to a statement signed by the Police Relations Officer of the command, DSP. Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, part of the security measures include prohibition of display of wares around prayer grounds or mosques.
Okuwobi-Ilobanafor urged members of the public to be careful when opening gifts, especially when the sources of such gifts are not known. She also urged members of the public to promptly report any suspicious movements or objects to the police via the following numbers.