Federal Govt Chides US Embassy, UK Over Security Alert

The federal government has expressed strong disapproval of the unverified security alert recently issued on Nigeria by certain embassies in the country.

The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, condemned the act yesterday in Abuja at a ministerial panel of the ongoing UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Week.

The minister also admonished Nigerian media outlets and social media personalities against spreading security alerts without verifying its authenticity and considering the consequences.

The UK High Commission and US Embassy had issued a security alert on Sunday, warning that terrorists were targeting public spaces in Abuja, causing panic in the capital city.

Mohammed was a panelist at the UNESCO session with the topic, “National Media and Information Literacy Frameworks, Sustaining Beyond Disinformation’’ moderated by Dr Tawfik Jelassi, assistant director-general, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO.

Federal Govt Chides US Embassy


Other discussants on the panel, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), were the minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Pantami; minister of state for education, Goodluck Opiah, and UK minister of technology and digital economy, Damian Collins participated virtually.

In his presentation, Mohammed said the warning issued by the embassies, which was not the true position of the security situation in the country, could create unnecessary tension and panic.

He also condemned the media outfits which fed on the unverified security alert to attract traffic to their site without considering the effects on the country.

“Some media outlets and social media personalities are usually caught spreading unverified information on their platforms just for click bait and the attendant monetary gain.

“Talking of click bait, this may be what informed the spread of the supposed security alert issued recently by some foreign embassies in Nigeria.

“One would imagine that if indeed this kind of security alert was issued, it was for the attention of citizens of the issuing countries in Nigeria.

“Suddenly, this alert found its way into the media, both new and traditional, thus creating panic in the polity.

“Schools were shut. Businesses were closed. Travel plans were altered. Lives were disrupted. No one cared to find out about the authenticity of these alerts. They just published, got the benefit of massive click bait and damned the consequences,’’ he said.

The information minister reiterated his position that the country “is safer today than at any time in recent times’’ due to the efforts and sacrifices of the security agencies.

The minister said the security forces had been proactive and that as far as insecurity is concerned, the worst is over for Nigeria.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians not to panic but to be alert at all times.

“We do not discountenance the fact that terrorists, bandits and their kind would always want to do whatever it takes to disrupt our nation’s peace, security and stability.

“Well, I can assure you all that our military and other security agencies have continued to do everything possible to secure and protect Nigerians and foreigners living in Nigeria. Terrorists have been hard hit and put on the run. Bandits have been decimated and scattered,’’ he said.

Security Alert: Federal Govt Assures Of Safety, Security For All

Speaking on the theme of the session, the minister defined disinformation as “a deliberate act to spread falsehood with extreme consequences on national peace, security and stability.’’

He said the threat of disinformation to national and global peace and stability is glaring, as it undermines the trust of citizens in the system.

The minister said people must join hands to address the scourge of disinformation that was threatening global existence.


Service Chiefs Revive Joint Operations

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, has said joint operations planning among security agencies is critical in tackling contemporary security challenges bedeviling the nation.

Irabor stated this at the opening of the 2022 Defence Headquarters Joint Operation Exercise (JOPEX) tagged “Exercise Sky Lock’’ for participants of the Army, Naval and Air Force War Colleges yesterday in Abuja.

He said the idea of JOPEX for war colleges was conceived to enhance collaboration among the services during planning and execution phases of operations.

The CDS said the second edition of JOPEX was built around contemporary, realistic and real-time security events in Nigeria and beyond.

He said the exercise marked the culmination of several months of significant efforts made toward developing the skills of participants of the three war colleges in operational art, design and decision-making process among others.

“It is certainly another milestone in the professional military education trajectory of the Nigerian military in the quest to properly equip our officers for present and future assignments.

“As think-tanks of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the war colleges are indeed the laboratories and incubation centres for the production of military operational level plans.

“They are also for measurement of performance and effectiveness of subsisting plans with a view to revising them for enhanced effectiveness.

“To this end, the product of this exercise will form part of the military strategic decisions for some ongoing and future operations.’’

According to him, this underscores the significance of this exercise and the resources committed to its actualisation.

Irabor said the complex 21st century security environment had huge implications not only for the military but also for all sectors of governance and society.

He expressed optimism that the knowledge, skills and capacities that the participants had acquired in operational art would enhance their professional judgment in a joint operations environment.

The commandant, Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Alabi, said that JOPEX underscored the efforts of the colleges to promote collaboration within the armed forces and with other security agencies.

Alabi said the primary mandate of the service war colleges was to build the capacity of operational level leaders in the armed forces in the management of war.

According to him, the colleges also had the mandate to develop the basic strategic skills of officers in the employment of military power across different domains and operating environments.

In the exercise, 122 participants drawn from the three services’ colleges comprising 74 from Army War College, 22 from Naval War College and 17 from Air Force War College.

There were also participants from allied foreign countries and other security agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)


Military Dismantles Road Blocks, Increases Presence On Highways, Streets

Meanwhile, following the release of security advisory on planned terror attack on Abuja by the US embassy, LEADERSHIP gathered that security agencies have dismantled road blocks and checkpoints on highways leading to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

While the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) declined to speak on the alert in order not to help the terrorists achieve their aim of stoking fear, the Guards Brigade has increased deployments in Abuja and environs.

Terrorists had on 25 July, 2022 killed nine soldiers of elite 7 Guards Brigade during ambush along Kubwa-Bwari.

In the onslaught that followed the attack, several criminal enclaves were destroyed and many arrested by security agencies.

A security source said the advisory was not a new thing in the security setting, even as he conceded that that many terrorists may have infiltrated the city, especially the suburbs, waiting for an opportunity to strike.

According to him, following onslaught on terrorists’ hideouts, many of them may have moved into the city, doing menial jobs like Okada riding and waste scavengers.

He said the lack of data was helping them blend easily in the city posing a threat to citizens unless a drastic measure is taken.

The source said though there is increased security presence, road blocks have been dismantled along highways leading to the city.

The source, however, said the military had been put on red alert to respond effectively to any eventuality.


 UN Alerts Of Plot To Abduct Humanitarian Workers In Borno

In a related development, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) yesterday raised the alarm over plans by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists to abduct humanitarian workers in Banki in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.

An advisory information release by the UNDSS said it had cause to believe that the insurgents had perfected plans to abduct humanitarian workers, but that no specific time was revealed.

“As a mitigation measures, the UNDSS FSA has alerted all Heads of Agencies (HoAs) and Security Focal Persons (SFP) on the impending threat.

“It also advised them to ensure that staff vulnerability should be avoided and to also reduce the level of exposure of any kind,” the UNDSS said.


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