Monday, October 31, 2022

Nigerian President Meets Security Chiefs Amid Terror Alerts by Foreign Missions

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is holding emergency meetings Monday with security chiefs after several foreign missions issued terror warnings last week for the capital, Abuja.

Buhar’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, made the announcement in a tweet late Sunday. He said top security officials including the defense minister, armed services chiefs, police and heads of other security agencies will meet the president in Abuja on Monday morning.

Shehu said the meeting is to further review and strengthen the security network in the country.

The meeting follows series of warning by various foreign missions in Nigeria of an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, especially the capital.

The U.S., UK, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Turkey and Austria last week issued advisories to their citizens warning against non-essential travel to Nigeria.

Nigerian authorities insist the country is safe and that there is no cause for alarm.

But the warning caused fears among residents and led to the shutdown of businesses and activities.

Security expert Senator Iruegbu said authorities are only trying to allay fears but that the warnings must be taken seriously.

"We have to continue as members of the public for one's safety, we have to continue demanding that they should improve. When they give assurances, I think that's the right thing to do because you don't need to create more panic or to show the public you're not in charge of the situation,” said Iruegbu.

Nigerian security forces have been battling jihadist groups in the northeast for years, but concerns that such groups may be expanding their attacks elsewhere are growing.

In June, authorities blamed Islamic State West Africa Province or ISWAP for an attack on a church in southwest Nigeria that killed 40 worshippers. It was the first attack in the region to be blamed on a terrorist group.

One month later, ISWAP claimed responsibility for a massive jailbreak in Abuja that freed more than 800 inmates. More than half of the escapees were recaptured but hundreds more are at large, including more than 60 terror detainees.

Last Wednesday, security agencies raided a residential area in the capital and arrested at least two terrorism suspects, according to local media reports.

By Timothy Obiezu


Related stories: U.S. authorities departure of non-emergency staff from Nigeria

US and UK warn of possible attack in Nigeria's capital

Video - Is Nigeria's security crisis out of control?

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