By Stanley Onyekwere
In a bid to tackle the rising insecurity in Abuja, the nation’s capital, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has directed all the six area council chairmen in the Territory to begin the registration of all aliens in their respective domains.
The minister who gave the directive yesterday, during an enlarged security meeting of the FCTA, in Gwarinpa, Abuja, to review the security situation in the FCT, said they are required to do so in conjunction with officials of the Nigerian Immigration Services.
He also instructed the council chairmen to continue with their regular security meetings in their respective areas with the traditional rulers, community leaders, Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and other stakeholders.
Mohammed also directed the FCT Road Traffic Services Department and the Police to eject all persons carrying out commercial or begging activities on the various pedestrian bridges.
He equally directed that the shopping centres and plazas along the crowded Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2 and along all other busy corridors in the city and the satellite towns be similarly made to comply with the new security templates.
In a statement issued by Special Assistant (Media) to the minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi, the minister restated his earlier directive for the strengthening of security at all shopping malls and markets in the FCT while assuring that the FCTA was liaising with appropriate security agencies towards the re-opening of the EMAB shopping Plaza scene of last week’s bombing to normal business activities.
It added that already, the owners and Management of the ever busy shopping plaza have been given standard security requirements to be put in place before the plaza can be re-opened for business activities.
“The ownership and management of the plazas are also required to cooperate fully with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and other agencies to checkmate hawking around the shopping centres especially in areas that are considered soft targets for terrorist attacks,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, giving an update on the number of casualties following the EMAB Plaza terror attack, the FCT Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya, said the casualty figure has risen to 24 following the death of three more victims on admission in hospitals.
He said two victims died in the National hospital while one died in Maitama District hospital.
According to the statement, those who attended the meeting include the FCT Minister, Senator Mohammed, the Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjidethe Permanent Secretary, FCT, Engineer John Chukwu, the Chairman of FCT Council of Chiefs and the Ona of Abuja, Alhaji Mohammed Baba Yunusa.
Others the heads of the various security agencies in the FCT including military, the Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Brigade of Guards, the Nigerian Immigration Services and others.