Following the panic generated by the United States Embassy and the British High Commission over a possible attack by terrorists in Abuja, the Department of State Services (DSS) has called for calm as it is taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of everyone in the country.
The BHC categorically warned citizens not to send children to school.
On Sunday, the US Embassy issued an advisory which immediately went viral on many social media platforms on planned attacks on government offices.
The advisory to its citizens read: “There is an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja. Targets may include, but are not limited to, government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organizations. The U.S. Embassy will offer reduced services until further notice,” the statement read.
US citizens in Nigeria were advised to avoid all non-essential travel or movement, stay alert, carry proper identification, avoid crowds, review personal security plans and keep their cell phones charged in case of emergency.
To worsen the panic, a statement by the British High Commission (BHC) slipped onto the social media and got many Nigerians all the more worried, having not heard anything, not even whispers, from the Federal Government.
The statement by Gill Atkinson, of the BHC in Abuja alerted:
“NOTICE ISSUED AT 15:48 on SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER
1. On Monday 24 October, British High Commission Abuja (BHC) will be open for Business Critical staff only. ALL colleagues wishing to travel to BHC should seek authorisation from Line Manager/ Block Leads, and in advance of travel.
2. On Monday 24 October, BHC Abuja UKB parents are advised strongly not to send children to schools.
3. More detail will follow later today from DHC Gill Atkinson.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, in a press statement in Abuja on Sunday said, “The Department of State Services (DSS) has received several enquiries relating to the security advisory issued by the US Embassy in Abuja, today, 23/10/22. The public may recall that the Service had variously issued similar warnings in the past.
“While advising that necessary precautions are taken by all and sundry, the populace is enjoined to remain alert and assist security agencies with useful information regarding threats and suspicious criminal acts around them.
“Meanwhile, the Service calls for calm as it works with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to maintain peace and order in and beyond Abuja”.