Defence & Security

Easter: Security agencies move to protect Christians, Worship centers

• IGP orders round-the-clock security of public spaces
• NSCDC beef up security in worship centers, others

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja

As Christians across the federation begin the celebration of Easter, major security agencies in the country such as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have vowed to protect Christians, worship centers and other critical public facilities against attacks by terrorists and criminals.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, on Thursday ordered intensive security patrols in all public places and critical national assets.

Acting Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement forwarded to The Trumpet on Thursday night said the move is to ensure “crime-free Easter celebrations.” Adding that the IGP specifically ordered all State Commissioners of Police (CPs) and their supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) to “ensure adequate deployment of police personnel, and operational assets to areas of security interest within their respective areas of responsibility (AoRs).”

According to CSP Adejobi, “The IGP equally ordered that supervising officers should ensure confidence-boosting, proactive, and high visibility patrols are carried out along the highways, motor parks, train stations, airports, worship centres, recreation centres, banks, and other financial institutions while taking adequate measures to provide a peaceful, crime-free, and enabling environment for religious, cultural and other socio-economic activities to thrive.

“In addition, the Commissioners of Police and their supervising AIGs have been directed to ensure proper supervision of the men assigned for these assignments. They must be professional and courteous to law-abiding citizens but firm and ruthless to criminal elements who might want to take the advantage of the festive period to perpetrate their unholy acts.

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“To this effect, the IGP Monitoring Unit and X-Squad have been given marching orders to monitor and police activities of police officers policing the highways to ensure respect for the rights of citizens and operational conformity with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Rules of Engagement (RoE) of the Force; the Complaint Response Unit, vis-à-vis Public Complaint Bureau, have equally been charged to respond swiftly to complaints received from the general public.”

In a related development, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmed Abubakar Audi has ordered massive deployment of personnel to flashpoints such as worship centers, markets, shopping malls, parks, recreational facilities and gardens across the country to conduct raids and beef up security during the Easter celebration.

This was disclosed by the Director of Public Relations, DCC Odumosu Olusola, in a statement obtained by The Trumpet, adding that the move is to guard against unwanted activities of criminal elements whose intention is to attack densely populated areas, critical national assets and sabotage government’s efforts.

The Trumpet gathered that personnel from the Intelligence units, Agro Rangers, Armed Squad, Special Forces, Rapid Response Squad, Special Female Squad, SWAT, K9, Counter Terrorism Units and the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive unit (CBRNE) have been deployed to ensure adequate security.

According to DCC Olusola, the CG said the action became necessary following recent security threats and criminal activities of bandits and terrorists while noting that a new security measure has become imperative to curb and forestall breach of peace in the country.

He said, “The action became necessary in view of security threats occasioned by the activities of bandits and criminals, adding that, it is imperative to put in place new security measures to forestall any breach of peace at this time.

“He (CG) re-affirmed that the Corps will not leave any stone unturned in making sure that its mandates are meticulously carried out to the satisfaction of all citizens, reiterating that, his personnel have been directed to be on red alert to look out for miscreants and mischief makers who would want to take advantage of the celebration to unleash terror attacks on innocent Nigerians and foreigners living in the country.

“He continued that the activities of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other similar groups in the country portend serious dangers for the country, hence, the need for more drastic strategic action in order to prevent the manifestation of various threats being unleashed by the enemies of the country.”

DCC Olusola further stated that the CG charged Zonal Commanders and State Commandants to ensure that the presence of the Corps is felt in every nook and cranny of the nation and further directed full implementation of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategic Action Plan of the Corps in preventing a repeat of attack on humans and the nation’s critical national assets and infrastructure as experienced recently.

Dr Audi, however, said the Easter period calls for sober reflection and therefore called on all Nigerians especially Christians to reflect on the sacrifices that Jesus Christ made on the cross of Calvary and emulate him by being their brothers’ keepers to preserve our collective patrimony and the sanctity of human life.

Dr Audi charged State Commandants to include the Private Security Operatives in the security arrangement and warned that “as the private security guards man shopping malls, churches, recreation centers and other places with high influx of people, they should be sensitized of the need to be extra vigilant and ensure they conduct thorough search on every moving objects or items as well as all individuals going in and out of such places and promptly alert security post around for immediate intervention if need be.”

He warned that bandits and criminals are on the prowl looking for where to cause mayhem and only a porous security arrangement would allow them to infiltrate any premises or environment to perpetrate their evil acts.

While calling for support from members of the religious and traditional institutions, the local communities and members of the public, Dr Audi tasked them to report any suspicious movement or activities of individuals, groups or persons to the nearest security post.

He equally charged parents and guardians to be mindful of their wards and engage them positively so they do not fall prey and be used as tools in the hands of criminals.

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