President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Nigeria after a working tour of South Korea, reacting to the advisory by the United States and the United Kingdom on hightened intelligence indicating possible terrorist attacks on Abuja, imploring Nigerians not to panic but be alert.
In a nutshell, Buhari, who arrived Abuja in the early hours of Friday, said there was no cause for alarm as government was o n top of the situation.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President was quoted as having advised the nation’s security establishment and the entire citizens to continue to be vigilant, careful with security. but most importantly, not to panic.
“He urges citizens to remain calm,” Shehu said in the statement. “The recent changes in travel advice from the US and UK governments should not be a cause for panic.
“Nigeria is no exception in having terror threats listed in foreign government’s travel advice to their citizens. UK and US travel advisories also state there is a high likelihood of terror attacks in many Western European nations. Indeed, the UK and US advice to their respective citizens for travel to one another’s countries contain the same warning. Unfortunately, terror is a reality the world over.
“However, it does not mean an attack in Abuja is imminent. Since the July prison raid, security measures have been reinforced in and around the FCT. Heightened monitoring and interception of terrorist communications ensure potential threats are caught further upstream.
“Attacks are being foiled. Security agents are proactively rooting out threats to keep citizens safe – much of their work unseen and necessarily confidential.
“Nigerians’ safety remains the highest priority of government. Security services are working around the clock to keep harm at bay.”
The President also assured that the government was on top of the security situation in country.
Buhari noted that though security threats were real and had been with us for a long while, the nation’s military, the police and other security agencies had shown enough capability to deal with it.
This, the President maintained, was evident from the fact that a majority of Nigeria’s partners, including the United Nations agencies in the country, had not seen the threat as being sufficient to warrant any form of panic or order citizen evacuations.
The President stressed that that while being security conscious, being alert and careful was crucial, it was equally important that responsible members of the society do not create situations leading to unnecessary panic.
President Buhari commended the military and other security agencies for the recent turn around in the nation’s security, and directed that additional precautionary measures be put in place; and that these must not slack now, and during the upcoming festive period.
President Buhari expressed optimism that given the on-going efforts on the part of the military and other security and intelligence agencies with the active support of the civilian population, the nation will emerge victorious against the current challenges facing it.