By Emma Okereh, Chuks Oyema-Aziken and Hassan Zaggi
The Defence Headquarters yesterday although refusing to confirm whether or not there were plots by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists to attack the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), assured residents and people in adjoining states that the military and other security agencies have been placed on red alert for their safety.
However, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, gave the assurances in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
He said the Armed Forces had intensified surveillance of the FCT and other states to checkmate activities of the criminals.
He said the assurance became “imperative sequel to a purported memorandum from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) warning its staff of a possible attack on the FCT”.
“The Armed Forces in conjunction with other security and response agencies, particularly the core intelligence agencies, hereby assure the public that preventive and pre-emptive intelligence are on-going.
“The general public is thus advised to go about their lawful businesses undeterred.
“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies wish to assure the general public that the offensives against the common enemies of this nation will not cease until normalcy is restored in all parts of the country.
“Hence, the public is equally enjoined to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity accordingly”.
The AUTHORITY had last week reported of military raid on camps of the DarulSalam/Boko Haram terrorist groups in parts of Kogi and Nasarawa States.
During the raid, scores of the terrorists and their associates were neutralized, while over 700 of their family members and abductees were rescued.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has in raising the red flags informed their staff through an internal memo of the presence of Boko Haram terrorists in the FCT.
The internal memo titled: “Re: Intelligence on national security,” was dated August 20, 2020 and signed by the Comptroller of Enforcement of the NCS, H.A Sabo.
He had said that intelligence reaching the Comptroller-General of the NCS, retired Colonel Hameed Ali, showed that terrorists were plotting to attack FCT from five identified locations.
The memo stated: “Boko Haram Terrorists are reported to have set up their camps in the following identified enclaves: Kunyam Bush along airport road off DIA Staff Quarters-Abuja; Robochi/Gwagwalada Forest; Kwaku forest, Kuje, Abuja; Unaisha forest in Toto Local Government of Nasarawa State and Gegu forest, close to Idu town in Kogi State.
“Consequently, you are to be at alert and security conscious of your environment at all times.
The internal memo was copied to Zonal Coordinators; Office of the Customs Area Controllers; Office of all CC Marine commands; Office of CC FOU, A, B, C, and D; Office of Coordinators Operation Ex-Swift Response; Office of Coordinators CGC Strike Force; and Office of the CC, Customs Police.
Efforts made to reach the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, for comment failed as he refused to pick calls put through to him, but sources at the Force headquarters confirmed the development, adding that “the Police High Command have not rested for a while since they got the Intel.
“We have been working tirelessly, but without making any noise about it. Part of what we did led to the arrest of some terrorists between Nasarawa and Kogi state last week.
“We are working on more tips, including the decoy of these terrorists to pretend to be commercial motocycle riders, who are now spread in parts of the country. We know that these people are part of the ISIS/ISWAP that are planning to invade the country, but we are up to the game and by the grace of the Almighty, we have done far more than what you people know about, only that we don’t want to make such information public to avoid any panic”.