…Advises owners, managers of public places to take extra-precautions
…DSS should arrest, prosecute those planning attacks — Adamu
…Nigerians must avoid crowded areas for safety — Agbambu
The Department of State Services (DSS) has that some criminal elements are planning to launch attacks on critical infrastructures, worship centres as well relaxation centres.
It further advised the owners, patrons and managers of these centres to take extra precautions in beefing security in and around their domains.
The Department said the criminal elements hoped to return the country to the pre-2015 era reminiscent of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks on soft and hard targets in parts of the country.
This warning was made known by the Public Relations Officer of the security agency, Dr Peter Afunanya yesterday in Abuja.
He stated that while the DSS has received reports on cases of such incidents in certain areas, it has uncovered a plot by suspected criminal gangs to forge an alliance.
Their objective, Afunanya explained, was to launch further attacks on critical infrastructure and other public places frequently visited, such as worship and relaxation centres, especially during and after the holidays and festive celebrations.
He added that the groups intend to achieve some self-serving interests and cause fear among the people, and warned managers and owners of such centres to be cautious and implement basic security measures to deter the threats.
The DSS said it would continue to disrupt the trend and pattern of violent attacks and asked the people to go about their lawful businesses.
The statement partly read, “The Department of State Services (DSS) hereby draws public attention to plans by criminal elements to return the country to the pre-2015 era reminiscent of IED attacks on soft and hard targets in parts of the country.
“Though there are already reported cases of such incidents in some areas, the Service has uncovered a ploy by suspected criminal gangs to forge an alliance among themselves with a view to launching further attacks on critical infrastructure and other frequented public places like worship and relaxation centres, especially during and after the holidays and festive celebrations.
“The objective is to achieve some self-serving interests as well as cause fear among the citizenry. The Service, however, recalls its earlier warning that some groups and individuals were plotting to stoke violence in the country.
“Following these, patrons, owners, and managers of the aforementioned public places are advised to be wary of this development and implement basic security measures to deter the threats.
“While the Service is committed to the disruption of this trend and pattern of violent attacks, it will continue to partner with other security agencies to ensure that necessary drills are emplaced in order that public peace and order are not jeopardised.
“To this end, residents are enjoined to go about their lawful businesses and share, with security and law enforcement agencies, useful information on the activities of criminals.
“Meanwhile, the DGSS, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi, fwc, wishes all and sundry a hitch-free Workers’ Day and Sallah celebrations.”
DSS should take step further to arrest, prosecute those planning attacks — Adamu
Reacting to the development in a chat with Nigerian NewsDirect Newspaper on Tuesday, a security expert and Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Security Consult, Dr. Kabiru Adamu, urged Nigerians to take heed in mitigating against risk of terrorists’ bomb explosion.
In his words, “We are thankful to the SSS for the warning and urge all the locations it listed to herd the alert and take necessary precautions in the form of anti terrorism measures to mitigate the risk of bomb explosions.
“In addition we urge the SSS to go a step further to arrest and prosecute those it says are planning the terror attacks. This will give Nigerians the assurance behind these warnings.
“We also urge it to work with government agencies to advise Nigerians on what to do to identify IEDs and who call if they suspect an item is a bomb.”
Nigerians must avoid crowded areas for safety — Agbambu
Similarly, a Security and Public Safety Expert, Mr Patrick Agbambu said Nigerians should take DSS’s alert seriously and avoid crowded places when necessary.
According to him, “I think that the advice is part of the threat alert system and it is welcome. Yes, there is a possibility of this attack knowing the period we are in now.
“We are on the verge of ending Ramadan fast with so many gatherings and celebrations, so this warning is valid. I also know that terrorists will try to make some statement this period, targeting soft targets.
“Again you know that electioneering activities have begun, this will heighten the insecurity situation. There are still some ungoverned spaces in the Country which serve as a point of attraction for the criminals to perpetuate their criminalities.
“My advice for the Government is on continuous sensitisation of citizens on security consciousness.
“If possible for people to avoid crowded areas, also the mobilisation of security forces in strategic areas,” he stated.