October 29, 2022

‘They always predict negative outcomes for Nigeria’ — CSOs tackle US, UK over security advisory

security advisory


By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

A coalition of some civil society organisations in the country has taken a swipe at a recent security advisory by the United States Government to its citizens over a planned terror attack on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Recall that the United States had last Sunday, issued a security alert over the elevated risk of attack on the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“There is an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja. Targets may include but are not limited to, government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities and international organisations,” the US had said in a statement by its embassy.

But at a press conference, Saturday, in Abuja, the coalition of the CSOs which consists of Coalition for Peace in Nigeria,COPIN, Coalition of Nigerians for National Sovereignty and Unity, CONNSU, Save Nigeria Movement, SNM; Celebrities United for Peace, CUP and Citizens Watch Advocacy Initiative, CWAI, took exception to the action of the US authorities.

According to the groups which addressed the media under the aegis of the Coalition of Patriotic Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, the United States and its ally, the United Kingdom, have never predicted any positive outcomes for the country before.

The group’s coordinator, Mr Emeke Akwuobi, who read a prepared text of the media conference before reporters, said the security alert by the United States Government was in bad faith.

“Without prejudice to time-honoured social constructs, occasioned by persuasions, we hasten to state that the so-called security advisories by the US and UK Governments, are distractive in form, and destabilising in content.

“In what has become a recurrent decimal, the US has continued to predict negative outcomes for Nigeria of which the most telling was the collapse – if you like, the failure of the Nigerian State – ahead of the 2015 general elections. More than seven years after, their prognosis has fallen flat on its feeble feet. Similarly, aligned interests in America predicted that Africa, Nigeria inclusive, will be littered with corpses at the outbreak of Covid-19, but history and medical records show that the outcome has been the opposite with dire consequences for America and her allies,” he said.

The group which explained that the event was aimed at addressing fundamental issues of national, and global concerns, recalled” that on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022, the United States (US) had issued what it referred to as “security advisory” wherein, it warned of alleged plans by terrorist elements to attack critical assets of government in Abuja, the nation’s capital, including public places.

“Among other claims, the US embassy in Abuja had said: “There is an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja. Targets may include but are not limited to, government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organisations.

“The US embassy will offer reduced services until further notice. The embassy advised US citizens to avoid all non-essential travel or movements and crowded places. It advised Americans to review their personal security plans and keep their cell phones charged in case of emergency.”

“In the usual traditional alignment, the British High Commission, in a short statement, announced that: “On Monday 24 October, British High Commission Abuja (BHC) will be open for Business Critical Staff only. All colleagues wishing to travel to BHC should seek authorisation from Line Manager/ Block Leads, and in advance of travel”, the group said

The text of the press conference read further: “For the avoidance of doubt, the US is preparing for elections, and is customary with the so-called ‘world police’, nations considered not to be in tune with her aggressive disposition, are often whipped into line.

“Having regard to our patriotic role as contemporary ‘watchdogs’, we wish to inform the public that, as always, the Democratic Party wants to continue in the usual opportunistic pastime of using the tool of destabilisation, to gain, or retain power, in the case of the subsisting government.”

“We wish to raise the following posers: Why is this misguided, misdirected security advisory coming a few months before elections in most parts of the country? Is it a coincidence that a few days after the suspicious alert, a similar cul-de-sac – literally speaking – was visited in South Africa? Whereas Nigeria leads the way in the West African sub-region, South Africa is, unarguably, the biggest player in the Southern African geographical construct,” the text read.

It further read: “It is pertinent to note that the said alarm underpins international politics: psychological warfare; scorched earth policy; or gunboat diplomacy.

“This press statement has become urgent and compelling, to warn and alert the public that plans are afoot to re-engineer the prediction of disintegration. This is, therefore, an auspicious moment for us as Nigerians to come together and fight against insecurity, criminality and other forms of threats to national security, and corporate existence.

“If anybody has any grievance(s), they are enjoined to, as a matter of patriotic national duty, bring it to the attention of security agencies, whose duty it is to act on behalf of the State.

“May we not witness the day when, in the pursuit of their own interest, our dear nation will be used as a field of play. We must resist, with the last drop of our Nigerian blood the temptation to live in panic, fear and lack of confidence in the ability of our government to confront common existential threats.

“It is heart-warming to note that our security services- the DSS, Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps – have all issued security advisories of plans by terrorists targeting soft targets in the country.

“In April, the DSS warned Nigerians of planned attacks but has gone ahead to destabilise terror cells and their networks in Nigeria leading to arrests in Kogi, Kano, Lagos and in the South Eastern part of the country. If our security architecture has issued security alerts and has braced up in confronting our common enemy and winning, why should we now believe more in a security advisory by Americans to their people?

“In the face of this reality, we urge our fellow citizens to see this as a time to rise above fear, and anxiety, in defence of our fatherland. Support of intelligence community. Vouchsafe information. See something, say something. Hear something, say something. Together we will prevail.”