DECEMBER 27, 2012
BY FIDELIS SORIWEI AND ADELANI ADEPEGBA
The authorities of the Nigerian military may have increased security around military formations in Abuja and other cities across the country to forestall any terror attack.
At the National Defence College, Abuja, for instance, the military high command on Wednesday, blocked a part of the busy Herbert Macaulay Road, Central Business District, compelling motorists to use one part of the road. The road to the college was blocked with concrete barriers while the road beside it that leads to Chelsea Hotel, was barricaded.
A top security officer told one of our correspondents that the measure must have been informed by intelligence reports that the institution was at the risk of a terror attack. He said, “For the authorities to have taken a sudden decision to block the access road to the college on a public holiday, it means there was intelligence report that a terror attack against the institution might be in the offing. “Coming after the Armed Forces Staff College, Jaji was attacked by suicide bombers,the military cannot afford to be caught napping by another surprise attack.”
Findings further showed that the blocking of the road was part of a decision taken by the military to secure its formations against any form of embarrassing attack by terror groups. A suicide bomber had on November 25 rammed a bus into St. Andrew’s Church at a military cantonment in Jaji, Kaduna State, killing 11 persons and wounding many others. Efforts to speak with the Public Relations Officer of the NDC, Lt. Commander Bencharles Anioke, were not fruitful as several calls to his telephone line indicated that it was either switched off or in an area outside of network coverage.
However, another source at the NDC said the security build-up was not peculiar to the NDC but to all military formations across the country. The source described the decision to block the busy road off as normal security measure in the face of terror threat in the country. He said, “It is a normal security measure; they just want to block that place off, that is all. The issue of planned terror attack is everywhere. Even in churches, there is a lot of security build-up, not only at the NDC.
“And I must tell you that, there are security build-ups everywhere around all military institutions in the country. This is happening not because there is an immediate plot to attack. “I think the plan has been on for some time and it is being executed now.”
The current exercise is coming amid moves by security operatives to open up some of the roads that were blocked in Abuja. With the improved security situation in Abuja, the Force Headquarters which blocked half of the Shehu Shagari road off, opened a part of the road to avoid traffic in that part of the city.