ABUJA – Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered all Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in the zones and command police commissioners to take all necessary measures to stop attacks being planned by terrorists during the Yuletide and New Year festivities.
The order came against the backdrop of bombings in parts of the country, weekend, and intelligence reports of more attacks at important targets during the festive season.
According to a statement by the Force Spokesman, CSP Frank Mba, the IG’s action is meant to ensure a peaceful and incident-free Christmas celebration and to ensure the provision of adequate security across the country before, during and after the celebration.
He said: “CPs are to personally ensure that key and vulnerable points, including shopping malls, motor parks, financial houses, places of worship, recreation centres and other public places are adequately and effectively protected, to enable holiday makers, worshippers and the general public enjoy maximum fulfillment.
“In a similar vein, Zonal AIGs and CPs have been directed to ensure the provision of 24 hours security around all government installations, strategic facilities and other key targets.
“Commanders of Police Highway Patrol Teams have been directed to ensure that motorised patrols on our highways targeted at crime and accident prevention, are intensified to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful celebration.
“Policemen deployed on our highways have also been directed to render necessary assistance to travelers and road users, especially accident victims and those who may suffer vehicular break down.”
Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), confirmed that all police formations nationwide had been put on red alert to prevent people with evil machinations from achieving their aims.
He said the various training programmes embarked upon by the Nigeria Police Force in areas such as counter-terrorism, intelligence gathering and community policing, had started yielding positive results as shown in the reduction in terrorist activities.
The minister also described Saturday’s attack on some telecommunication facilities in Kano by suicide bombers as an attempt to cause panic among Nigerians during the festive period and urged all Christians and non-Christians alike to use the Christmas celebrations to pray for God’s intervention in the affairs of the nation.
Meanwhile, Olubolade has assured Nigerians that the Nigeria Police was capable of providing adequate security nationwide, in spite of the determination of some disgruntled and misguided elements to cause chaos.
In a statement by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, James Odaudu, the minister said: “No religion advocates violence.”
against non-adherents, so nobody should hide under the cover of any religion to destroy innocent lives and cause misery to others.”
He appealed to Nigerians to combine security consciousness with their celebrations and assist the police and other security agencies by promptly providing useful information.
… as NEMA activates Search, Rescue teams
National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has activated its emergency Search and Rescue Teams to be on full alerts in the event of any emergency situation during the yuletide season.
Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, made the disclosure in his office, weekend, while receiving the communique of the 2012 Annual Media Retreat of Journalists and Information Officers on Disaster and Emergency Management in Nigeria.
He said: “All Search and Rescue Officers of NEMA and of other response agencies, and trained emergency volunteers throughout the federation, have been put on alert in case of any untoward development between the Christmas and the New Year.
“The activation of Search and Rescue officers to be on full alert has been the tradition of the agency in its collaborative efforts with other agencies and volunteers in responding to distress situation.”
Sani-Sidi also lamented the inability of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to provide the country with a 3-digit national emergency call line as obtained in other jurisdictions.
“We are waiting for NCC to work out the emergency toll free number as soon as possible to help us on disaster management.”
Sani-Sidi noted that most states had lukewarm attitude to the subject of emergency management and combating disasters by not complying with legal mandates to establish their state emergency management agencies, SEMAs.
Muhammad Sani-Sidi urged journalists to take governors and local government chairmen to task on the need to establish functional emergency management bodies.