BARELY 24 hours and few days to the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the Federal Government has uncovered secret plots by the Islamic extremist group popularly known as Boko Haram to unleash mayhem in some parts of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
A highly-placed security source who disclosed this to Nigerian Tribune in Abuja on Sunday mentioned the targeted states to include Borno, Plateau, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa, Niger and Abuja.
The source further revealed that available security reports nationwide indicated that the coordinated attacks scheduled to kick off today (Xmas eve) would be targeted at churches, worship centres, recreational centres, hotels, military and paramilitary, police and telecommunications installations, among others.
It was gathered that following this development and its determination to checkmate the activities of the defiant group before, during and after the Yuletide, the Federal Government had placed all its security agencies on red alert while military personnel from the various military formations across the states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja have been deployed in the perceived black spots as back-ups to the existing Special Security Task Forces on the ground in order to ensure maximum security in such areas and the country in general.
In addition, the source said that some notable politicians, individuals and religious groups have been placed under strict security surveillance for effective monitoring of their activities as well as their movements as part of efforts at thwarting the group’s plot.
The source further hinted that the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President is coordinating the special security arrangements while the heads of the various security agencies have been mandated to ensure total security within their areas of jurisdictions, with strict warning that any noticed security lapses in any part of the country would be visited with severe sanctions in accordance with the rules and regulations of the affected service and the law of the land.
The Nigerian Tribune learnt authoritatively that following this development, most of the security agencies and para-military agencies have placed total embargo on annual leaves for their personnel, while those who had already proceeded on their annual leaves have been directed to report at their duty posts with immediate effect for further directives.
Findings also revealed that in line with the directive of the Federal Government, security has been stepped up in the nation’s sea, air and border ports as well as the highways nationwide while proper checking and random checks were carried out on individuals, vehicles, aircraft, vessels, ships and luggage for security reasons.
It was gathered that the various security check-points mounted on the nation’s highways and around other public installations in the wake of the Boko Haram activities nationwide by the army personnel have been strengthened for effective operations, while the police have embarked on 24 hours patrol of the highways with regular, mobile and anti-terrorism personnel under the watchful eyes of the Inspector-General of Police, to ensure adequate security on the highways.
In addition to all these security arrangements, a source at the Department of State Security (DSS), told the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday that the Service had deployed more operatives and personnel in the field for intelligence gathering and that all hands were on deck to safeguard the security of the country before, during and after the Yuletide while both the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have deployed virtually all their personnel out for the special assignment.
A very senior officer in one of the security agencies who spoke with our reporter in Abuja on Sunday, confirmed the fresh plot to unleash mayhem in some parts of the country during the Yuletide by a group believed to be Boko Haram sect but assured that there was no cause for alarm as the Federal Government had already mobilised all its security agencies to be on red alert for easy mobilization in case the group makes good their threat.