UK, US Terror Alert Needless – NSA

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Mary Ugwuanyi

The Federal Government has said that Nigeria is not precarious to prompt the travel advisory issued by the United States and United Kingdom governments as well as other countries.

Recall that the counties had warned their citizens to avoid travelling to Nigeria, Abuja particularly, due to a likely terror attack.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on his return from a visit to South Korea over the weekend, dismissed the terror alert, noting that it would not be the first time the western countries will issue such an advisory to their citizens in foreign countries and that of Nigeria not be different.  

The advisory by the UK and US had generated so much panic among Abuja residents after staff of the embassy and High Commission and other citizens of both countries were advised to leave the FCT.

Reacting to the development, Maj. General Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser, NSA, in an interaction with State House correspondents after the emergency security meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Abuja Presidential Villa, assured Nigerians of their safety.  

According to Monguno, who was flanked by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, the panic that followed the US terror alert addressed to its citizens in Nigeria was unnecessary because the hype and the sense of insecurity it created were unfounded.

He said, “I will like to assure all the citizens of this country that any exaggerated sense of insecurity, any hype about a disintegration of our security forces, intelligence agencies, is unfounded. 

‘’I want to assure Nigerians that so far, the situation has been under control, the intelligence and security agencies have made a lot of arrests.

“The issue of Nigerians being made to panic is unnecessary. The situation in various areas of the Federal Capital Territory has been brought under control and we’re trying as much as possible to work with our neighbors and, within the domestic situation, to work with our foreign partners in a responsible way, without giving the impression that Nigeria is skating on thin ice and we’re about to implode.

‘’I’ll want to dispel any illusion about any heightened sense of insecurity. It is false, it is irresponsible for anybody to give that signal.

See Also: Terror Alert: Remain Vigilant – IGP Asks Citizens

“We’re working with our foreign partners in a responsible way and Nigerians should go about their normal daily undertakings without being put in a situation of fear.”

Responding to a question on if the advisory was false as stated by the Inspector-General of Police, the NSA responded, “We’ve been sharing intelligence with not just the US, but with other partners and we’ve been acting on the intelligence; we’ve been working. 

‘’Has anything happened so far? No, nothing has happened, but they went ahead to issue this advisory to their people and, of course, the connotations are there, they could have various reasons for doing that.

“This is the first time it is happening. Come on, it’s the first time it is happening. I don’t have that crystal ball to know the workings of their minds, but the truth is that the alert was for their own citizens. Probably the way in which it was released became complicated at the end of the day.

“These are conjectures. There’s nothing that is specific. It is an unnecessary distraction. As far as we are concerned, the safety, the security of Nigerians is paramount and as far as we know, there’s nothing untoward so far.

Source: Vanguard

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