The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has raised the alarm about an imminent attack on Abuja by foreign terrorists.
According to a leaked internal memo Thursday, the attack is being targeted between December 17, 2021, and December 31, 2021.
The memo, signed by a Comptroller of Immigration Service, Edirin Okoto, was dated December 23, 2021.
It was issued on behalf of the Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Idris Jere, to the Controllers of Immigration Service in all the land, air and sea borders of the country and the Sector Commanders of the border patrol corps.
Parts of the memo read: “The office of the Ag CGI is in receipt of a Security Report (URGENT) from the Presidency (OSGF).”
“The import is about a looming attack on Nigeria’s Capital City, Abuja between 17th and 31st December 2021.
“The planned attack is purportedly being led by one DRAHMANE, OULD ALI, aka Mohammed Ould Sidat, an Algerian national to be assisted by one Zahid Aminon, a Nigerien national.”
According to the memo, the foreigners, who are planning to enter Nigeria from Mali through the Niger Republic, have four accomplices who are already in the country.
The memo directed personnel at the borders to “intensify alert levels, emplace necessary countermeasures at all entry/exit points – air, land, sea/marine, including, but not limited to, surveillance, rigorous search on persons and vehicles, transhumance, to effectuate the immediate arrest of these terrorists/countervail this and any terrorists attacks in Abuja.”
The spokesman of the NIS, Amos Okpu, confirmed the authenticity of the memo, but expressed regrets that it was leaked. While calling on Nigerians and Abuja residents, in particular, to go about their normal activities, he said the personnel at the borders were capable of doing their job.
“There is no need for panic. I can assure you that our personnel at the borders will ensure that the terrorists are captured if they attempt to enter the country.
“We are working with sister agencies on this already,” he said.
Meanwhile, the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have arrested at least 26 criminal elements including 16 migrant bandits from Niger Republic.
Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the troops, while carrying out operations in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States, also neutralized 12 criminals.
He said 16 different types of arms and 61 different calibres of ammunition were recovered; while 13 kidnapped civilians were rescued during the operations.
He said: “Other locations were Boto area in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi state; Gidan Waya town and Angwan Magaji village in Jama’a local government area of Kaduna state.
“In addition, troops within the period held peace and security meetings with critical stakeholders as non-kinetic means of tackling insecurity.
“Some of these meetings were held at; the Force Headquarters of Operation Whirl Stroke in Makurdi and Lau LGA in Taraba.
“Issues discussed at the meeting centered on how to find lasting solutions to the security challenges in the North Central Zone.”
Onyeuko said that troops successfully repelled bandits’ attacks and arrested child traffickers, cattle rustlers, kidnappers as well as bandits and robbers in parts of Plateau, Bauchi and Kaduna States.
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