As activities for the Yuletide season pick up, residents and religious leaders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are advised to be conscious of their environment and promptly report suspicious movements within their neighbourhoods to law enforcement agents.
In particular, leaders of churches and mosques are implored to galvanize their faithful for increased security alert, as it has become imperative especially during the festive seasons.
This caution was handed down by the FCT Security Committee at the end of its emergency security review session yesterday, in the wake of recent heightened terror alarms.
A statement by FCTA’s Chief Press Secretary, Cosmas Uzodinma, explained that the security emergency was convened, by the FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello against the backdrop of travel terror alerts issued by some foreign diplomatic institutions to their citizens about Abuja.
According to the statement, the Minister however assured residents that the police and other security agencies have been placed on heightened alert, to combat crime and ensure effective surveillance in the Territory.
He also reiterated that the ban on the use of fireworks in the Territory is still in force and cautioned against the use of fireworks this season.
Represented at the meeting by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, said the police and other security outfits have stepped up patrol of reported flashpoints of crime as well as enhanced surveillance on supermarkets, malls and gardens among others.
He called on community and religious leaders as well as the public to be very watchful over the traffic and use of illicit drugs around them and to report such to the security agencies.
Similarly, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Malam Sadiq Bello reinforced the assurances given by the FCT Minister, as the Police was working with other security agencies to ensure visibility policing, intelligence gathering and sharing as well as joint patrols.
“The Security Committee also commended the Ministerial Task-force on Illegal Motor-parks and Other Forms of Nuisance Around the City for controlling the development of shanties around the city and for the proper designation of motor parks.
“According to them, this has enhanced security surveillance and control within the city in particular and the Territory at large.
“The Committee also expressed resolve to check the activities of unpainted taxis and their implication in kidnap crimes around the city.
“The Nigerian Army at the occasion released a quick response number of 193 to the public as well as the Road Safety Corps which released the number 122 for traffic control calls.
“The Nigerian Army disclosed that the number 193 (available on all the networks) could be used to alert the Army call centre and give locations on crime, insurgency, fire, drug or even of any soldier molesting a civilian.
“The Committee, it was revealed has also commenced security audit of the hotels, especially those patronized in the FCT to ascertain their security preparedness.
“This, is with a view to assist them on security preparedness and awareness to assure tourists and investors that our hotels are safe,” the statement said.