The Department of State Services (DSS) has said there was no joint sting operation with the United States Army in Trademore Estate, Abuja as was been reported in some sections of the media, stressing that there was no collaboration with any foreign military for that matter, Leadership reports.
Spokesman of the DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, said yesterday that the clarification became important following the continued peddling of the wrong information for some days now.
Speaking on the reported bomb discovery in Abuja, the DSS spokesman also said there was no threat of bomb attack in Abuja as being reported within last one week and no bomb was discovered with the operations in the last one week.
Following the security alert by the U.S. Embassy to its citizens in Abuja on a planned terrorist attack, the DSS had called on citizens to be at alert and remain calm.
The U.S. Embassy had issued security alert to its citizens on October 23, noting that there were impending terrorist attacks on public places in Abuja.
Part of the alert stated: “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 organizations. The U.S. Embassy will offer reduced services until further notice.
“Actions to Take: Avoid all non-essential travel or movement, stay alert, avoid crowds, review your personal security plans and keep your cell phone charged in case of emergency and carry proper identification.”
Afunanya had said the alert was similar to that which had been issued by the service recently.
Part of the DSS statement read: “The Department of State Services has received several enquiries relating to the security advisory issued by the US Embassy in Abuja, on October 23, 2022. The public may recall that the service had variously issued similar warnings in the past.
“While advising that necessary precautions are taken by all and sundry, the populace is enjoined to remain alert and assist security agencies with useful information regarding threats and suspicious criminal acts around them. The service calls for calm as it works with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to maintain peace and order in and beyond Abuja.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has advised the nation’s security establishment and entire citizens to continue being vigilant and careful with security, saying it was important to avoid panic.
He urged citizens to remain calm, saying the recent changes in travel advice from the US and UK governments should not be a cause for panic.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president said Nigeria was no exception in having terror threats listed in foreign government’s travel advice to their citizens.
He said UK and US travel advisories also stated there was a high likelihood of terror attacks in many Western European nations.
Buhari said the UK and US advice to their respective citizens for travel to one another’s countries contained the same warning, noting that terror is a reality the world over.
He, however, said it does not mean an attack in Abuja was 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,” he added .
The president assured that the government was on top of the security situation in country.
While noting in addition that security threats were real and had been with us for a long while, he said the nation’s military, police and other security agencies had shown capability to deal with it, as 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 were crucial, as it is also important that responsible members of the society do not create situations leading to unnecessary panic.
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 slacken now and during the upcoming festive period.
He 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 would emerge victorious against the current challenges facing it.
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