Presidency sounds alarm bells over planned terrorist attack in Abuja

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The presidency yesterday sounded the alarm on an alleged terrorist attack planned in Abuja, during this festive period.

But the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has, as a result, put its officers at various border posts across the country on red alert.

NIS said it received information from the presidency that Malian terrorists were planning to cross the border between Nigeria and the Republic of Niger to launch an attack in the national capital.

The situation has since sparked a wave of meetings in security circles on countermeasures to be adopted to prevent such an eventuality.

Abuja, the country’s capital, has been placed on red security alert for the past two months following reports of a massive influx of terrorists into the city.

The situation had led to the closure of neighborhoods inside the city following reports of house-to-house attacks by suspected thieves in the city.

Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello recently alleged that terrorists had invaded his state and could soon reach Abuja, 120 kilometers away.

Security agencies cordoned off entry points into the city early last month, causing traffic jams, following a security alert over an imminent attack on the seat of national power.
Intensive security patrols were also activated while security meetings were held more regularly to contain the situation.

A letter dated December 23, 2021 and entitled: “Terrorists plan attacks in Abuja” and signed by the Commander of the Land Border Patrol, Mr. Edirin Okoto, on behalf of the Acting Comptroller General of the Immigration Service, Mr. Idris Jere, has been addressed to all Area Commanders and Border Patrol Corps across the country.
They included those at the land borders of Seme, Idi Iroko, Jibia, Illela, as well as immigration officers from Murtala Mohammad International Airport, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, among others. .

“The CGI Ag Office is receiving an (urgent) safety report from the Presidency (OSGF). The import relates to an impending attack on Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, between December 17 and December 31, 2021.

The memo indicates that the planned attack is led by a certain Drahmhane Ould Ali, alias Mohammed Ould Sidat, an Algerian national assisted by a certain Zahid Aminon, a Nigerien national.

The report states that the duo are en route to Nigeria from Mali via Gan and the Republic of Niger, driving a white Toyota Hilux van with Reg. No – AG157EKY. That these two had four Nigerian accomplices, who are already established in the country It is further reported that Ali holds an Algerian diplomatic passport under the name of Najim Ould Ibrahim.

“Therefore, I am invited to ask you to step up alert levels, to put in place the necessary countermeasures at all our points of entry / exit – air, land, sea / sea – including, but not limited to surveillance, rigorous search for people and vehicles, transhumance, to effect the immediate arrest of these terrorists / counterbalance that and any terrorist attack in Abuja, ”he said.

In November 2021, the Department of State Security (DSS) alerted Nigeria’s customs service to planned attacks by insurgents on border communities across the country.

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