By Marcus Ikechukwu
President Muhammadu has advised the nation’s security establishment and citizens not to panic but observe vigilance following the security advisory issued by the US to its citizens in Nigeria.
The President, in a statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, on Friday, sounded the note of calmness.
According to him, citizens should remain calm. The recent changes in travel advice from the US and UK governments should not cause panic.
He said Nigeria is no exception in having terror threats listed in foreign government’s travel advice to their citizens.
According to Buhari, UK and US travel advisories also state a high likelihood of terror attacks in many Western European nations. Indeed, the UK and US advice to their respective citizens for travel to one another’s countries contain the same warning. Unfortunately, terror is a reality the world over.
He said such an advisory does not mean an attack in Abuja is imminent.
“Since the July prison raid, security measures have been reinforced in and around the FCT. Heightened monitoring and interception of terrorist communications ensure potential threats are caught further upstream.
“Attacks are being foiled. Security agents are proactively rooting out threats to keep citizens safe – much of their work is unseen and necessarily confidential.
“Nigerians’ safety remains the highest priority of the government. Security services are working around the clock to keep harm at bay,” he assured.
The President also assured that the government is on top of the security situation in the country.
While noting, in addition, that security threats are real and have been with us for a long while, the nation’s military, the police and other security agencies have shown a capability to deal with them, as is evident from the fact that a majority of our partners, including the United Nations agencies in our midst, have not seen the threat as being sufficient to warrant any form of panic or order citizen evacuations.
The President also stressed that while being security conscious, alert and careful is crucial, it is also important that responsible members of the society do not create situations leading to unnecessary panic.
Buhari equally lauded the military and other security agencies for the recent turnaround in the nation’s security and directed that additional precautionary measures be put in place and that these must not slacken now and during the upcoming festive period.
He expressed optimism that given the ongoing efforts of the military and other security and intelligence agencies with the active support of the civilian population, the nation will emerge victorious against the current challenges facing it.
Recall that Nigeria has been undergoing its worst security challenges in over a decade, with its leadership trying to contain the situation.
The security challenges appear in banditry, kidnapping and cyber-related crimes.