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Counter-terrorism war starts in Lagos

As Police give 17 tips to residents


Lagosians were  on June 25, 2014, gripped with fear, following an explosion that rocked Apapa area of the state which left  in its trail the death of four persons while others were injured.
Though report had it that it was a clear case of bomb explosion but the Lagos State Police Command described it as a gas explosion even though the Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the explosion.

The scene of the blast at Apapa.
The scene of the blast at Apapa.

Another near bomb explosion  incident which was however foiled , was attempted by suspected terrorists to blow up tank farms in Ijora area of Lagos last year. But for  intelligence report matched with prompt action by security agencies which led to the arrest of the suspected terrorist, lives would have no doubt been lost.

In view of the foregoing, Vanguard reliably gathered that  security stakeholders have gone back to the drawing board to re-strategise with a view to ensure that formidable measures were put in place to secure lives and property of  Lagosians.

To this effect, the Lagos State Police Command has called on Lagosians to be vigilant and join hands with security operatives, by availing them with  information that would  not only make the state safe but  also safeguard the citizenry.

Part of the information as contained in  a Counter-Terrorism  Campaign by the Police high Command include  drawing its attention or those of other security agencies to vehicles parked or abandoned by unknown persons.
Infact, the Lagos State Police Command boss, had in one of his briefings suggested that it was better to raise  false  alarm on  objects suspected to be combustive than to ignore it, only to cause the loss of human lives.

Briefing newsmen at the weekend, spokes person of  the Command, Ngozi Braide, disclosed that  in view of the current security and terrorism threats in some parts of the country, the Police High Command had launched a Counter Terrorism Campaign with  a charge to landlords in Lagos  to conduct back ground checks on all their prospective tenants, as well as create avenues to meet with their tenants from time to time.

She highlighted some security tips which include  the need for  legitimate  sellers of chemicals such as fertilizer, ammonium products, acids  to be wary of persons they sell such products to and report suspicious orders to the appropriate authority.

On the part of the command, Braide hinted that security measures such as   intensified surveillance around public places such as markets, churches, mosques, schools, parks, had been put in place.

Vanguard also gathered that plain clothes policemen have been placed on surveillance in places considered as hot spots in Lagos. Some of these places include Ajegunle, Agege, Idi-Araba, Iyana-Ipaja, Iyana-Iba, Mushin, Alaba-Rago along Badagry   expressway, Pen-cinema, Orile, Mile Two, Ayobo, Ajah, Ijora Badia, among other places.

It was also reliable gathered that consistent raids of places considered as hot spots are ongoing. So far, over 400 arrests have reportedly been made. Most of those arrested were discovered to be illegal immigrants.  Among the arrested were truck pushers, wheel barrow traders and Bureau-de-change operators.

But the fight against terrorism as stressed by Braide should not be left alone to security  agencies. She therefore advised Lagosians to adhere strictly to the  security tips against terrorism as contained in the Counter-Terrorism Campaign  pamphlet  .

The tips:
*Know your neigbours:  You must strive to know not only the person living in your house but in your surrounding environment . Find out their means of livelihood as every strange face must be probed
*Observe what your neigbour normally brings home at night or what he normally moves away in the morning hours, as this may be dangerous to the safety of all.

*Community leaders, working in conjunction with the local police, are encourage to form  neigbourhood associations and periodically meet to appraise security situations in their areas.
*Do not keep any object that will aid criminals to have easy access to your premises, e.g ladder beside the wall.
*Owners of uncompleted building must clear them off undesirable persons or request the assistance of security agencies to do so where necessary.

*Park owners, garage operators and operators of shopping malls must ensure that they thoroughly scan, search and take stock of vehicles parked within and around the premises of such public places.
*Hotels and hospitality industries should always screen their guests and lodgers properly and ensure that they obtain accurate details of all guests.

*Corporate citizens, high-end  commercial and residential establishment, institutions, mega churches/mosque and individuals with valuable assets, including hotels and park owners are encourage to install Close Circuit Televisions and other surveillance system strategically on their premises to help in monitoring  criminal activities.

*Draw the attention of the police or other security agencies to vehicles parked or abandoned by unknown persons.
*Empty containers, gas cylinders, dustbins and other receptacles not in use, must be properly disposed off or kept away from the reach of unauthorized persons.

*Do not allow unknown person to drop or abandon bag, boxes, foot barrows, or trolleys, articles of trade, cartons or any wrapped or sealed containers around your premises.
*Legitimate sellers of chemicals such as fertilizers, ammonium product, acid, etc should be wary of persons they sell such product to. All suspicious order should be immediately reported to security agencies.

* Always check your surroundings for suspicious , unexplained and dangerous objects and immediately informed the police where any such object is found.
* Never except to take possession of or watch over any bag or object kept by unknown person or person
*Be vigilant at public places as bombs can be kept by unscrupulous persons  in unattended bags , packages, containers, cars, etc.

*In the unforeseen circumstances of a bomb blast, stay away from the blast scene.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.