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FG dismisses U.S. insecurity alert in Abuja, says alarm needless hype

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
01 November 2022   |   3:53 am
Federal Government, yesterday, downplayed fear instigated by the United States' (U.S.) recent security alert on Nigeria, especially Abuja, saying citizens are not in any form of danger...

Aerial view of Abuja, recently PHOTO: SKYSCRAPPERCITY

Federal Government, yesterday, downplayed fear instigated by the United States’ (U.S.) recent security alert on Nigeria, especially Abuja, saying citizens are not in any form of danger.

National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), disclosed this to newsmen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, following an emergency National Security Council meeting at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Monguno was joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The NSA said the panic, which trailed the U.S. terror alert addressed to its citizens in Nigeria, was needless. He maintained that the hype and the sense of insecurity it created were unfounded and unnecessary, urging citizens and other residents to go about their businesses without entertaining any apprehension.

He added that the Nigerian military and other security and intelligence agencies were up to the task in their duty to ensure all Nigerians and every part of the country were safe.

Monguno said: “I will like to, first and foremost, assure all the citizens of this country that any exaggerated sense of insecurity, any hype about the disintegration of our security forces, intelligence agencies, is unfounded. I want to assure Nigerians that, so far, the situation has been under control; the intelligence and security agencies have made a lot of arrests.

“They’re evaluating; they’re exploiting all the materials in their possession. We’re not in the habit of disclosing whatever has been done, but the most important thing is that from the time this story started emerging, until now, about a week to 10 days, you can see that, so far, the situation has been brought under control.

“The issue of Nigerians being made to panic is unnecessary. The situation in various areas of the Federal Capital Territory has been brought under control, and we’re trying, as much as possible, to work with our neighbours and, within the domestic situation, to work with our foreign partners in a responsible way, without giving the impression that Nigeria is skating on thin ice and we’re about to implode.”

“I’ll want to dispel any illusion about any heightened sense of insecurity. It is false; it is irresponsible for anybody to give that signal.”

Also speaking, Irabor shed light on the attempted terrorist attack on Wawa Cantonment in Niger State.

He said: “Perhaps, to use this opportunity to mention that; I’m sure some of you may have seen in the media, or among you, that on the night of October 29, 2002, Wawa Cantonment in Niger State was attacked.

“Of course, the alertness of the troops led to neutralisation of the attackers and vehicles that were laden with improvised explosive devices and other items were impounded, and five of those attackers were equally arrested.”

He added: “(It’s) just to use that to let you know of the level of alertness of members of the armed forces, the police and other security agencies.”

Others at the emergency meeting included: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd); Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi.

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