6th October, 2010
Following the 1 October bomb blasts that killed at least 10 persons and injured 30 inÂ Abuja, Nigeriaâ€™s capital, during the 50th independence anniversary celebration, securityÂ has been beefed up nationwide.
According to reports by P.M.NEWS correspondents, security has been tightened at strategicÂ locations, especially in the state capitals and other big towns across the country.
Security was tight this morning within and around the Murtala Muhammed InternationalÂ Airport, Lagos. All the vehicles moving towards the aerodrome were stopped and searchedÂ thoroughly by a combined team of the Air Force personnel and the Lagos Airport PoliceÂ Command.
The security operatives used anit-bomb detector devices and conducted body search on allÂ the commuters. A reinforced team of policemen could be seen at the terminal building ofÂ MMIA. Metal detectors were used, personal belongings were opened and searched. TheÂ exercise caused heavy traffic jam on the road to the airport.
Security has also been beefed up in and around Abuja as a result of the insecurityÂ engendered by the Independence Day bomb blasts.Â Visitors to the Three Arms zone whichÂ houses the Presidential Villa, the Supreme Court and the National Assembly, areÂ thoroughly screened by men of the State Security Service, who demand for identity cardsÂ or documents to prove that anybody who wants to access the area has a genuine business toÂ do there.
Those who want to gain access to buildings housing different ministries and agencies areÂ also asked toÂ show proof why they are there, while those who cannot prove that they haveÂ genuine business are turned back.
The section of the Shehu Shagari Way where the October 1 bomb blasts occurred remainedÂ cordoned off at the time of filing this report this morning.Â This led to heavy trafficÂ Â build up in the alternative routes.
Movement to the expansive premises of the National Assembly has also been curtailed as aÂ result of claims that text messages of impending attacks on the structure have beenÂ received by some members. As a result, the management of the National Assembly announcedÂ new security measures yesterday that will restrict access to the premises.
Also, shuttle buses which used to take those who want to go into the National AssemblyÂ complexÂ have been banned as a result of the heightened state of insecurity. There wasÂ heavy security presence at all the entrances to the complex yesterday as vehicles andÂ visitors going to the complex were searched by officials of SSS and the police.
Also, policemen have been deployed to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International AirportÂ whereÂ they are subjecting travellers to thorough checks before allowing them into the facility.Â Boots of cars goingÂ into the airport are checked.
Police officers have also been deployed to major hotels like the Transcorp Hilton.Â Vehicles going into the hotels are now screened and searched unlike before when there wasÂ easy access for those who go there.
From Jos, Plateau State, our correspondent reports that the presence of heavily armedÂ policemen and soldiers was noticeable at strategic locations in the state capital sinceÂ the Abuja bomb blasts occurred.
In Kaduna State, the state Police Command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO,Â Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Aminu Lawan told P.M.NEWS this morning that theÂ state command has been on top of the security situation.
According to Lawan, the command had been instructed to beef up security which it plans toÂ do from tomorrow. He added that Kaduna and Plateau which were regarded as volatile statesÂ have been asked to be on red alert.
At the Calabar Airport, security was beefed up by operatives in plain clothes. After theÂ bomb blasts occurred in Abuja last Friday, sources at the airport said the number ofÂ travellers had reduced drastically. Fewer flights are now recorded as only a few peopleÂ now buy flight tickets.
Head of the security at the Aiport confirmed to P.M.NEWS this morning that the number ofÂ policemen deployed there has been increased. However, the situation has remained calm inÂ the metropolis as the security was not in anyway threatened while people go about theirÂ normal businesses without any form of security threat or molestation.
From across the city of Enugu, investigations revealed that all the security agents haveÂ taken over strategic locations in the state capital.
Both plain clothes andÂ uniformed policemen with other security operatives have beenÂ deployed to strategic locations in the coal city. However, there has been no threat toÂ security as at press time when P.M.NEWS went round the city.
The security situation in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, this morning was normal. ButÂ the police have increased patrol and surveillance within and outside the city, especiallyÂ in strategic areas. With the peaceful atmosphere, residents of Ilorin and environs wereÂ seen going about their normal business activities.
In Kano, security has been tightened with joint patrol of the police and Army and otherÂ security agents.
Fully armed policemen and bomb disposal squad were also seen in all parts of the city.
The Kano State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Gana told P.M.NEWS on telephone thisÂ morning that the police in the state are ready for any threat to peace and security inÂ the state.
Gana said part of the measure to ensure security of life and property, is a securityÂ meeting the state governor will have later today with all security agencies.
He urged residents of the city to go about their legitimate businesses without any fear.
Meanwhile, the Abuja bomb incident is still being discussed among citizens in the state.Â Most people now avoid political gatherings as they live in apprehension in the wake ofÂ the Abuja bomb blasts. Southerners in the state who spoke to P.M.NEWS on condition ofÂ anonymity confirmed that they received panic telephone calls from the south asking afterÂ their safety as Kano is known for its volatility in times of crisis.
Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital was calm and quiet this morning. The regularÂ police patrol continued in many parts of the city.
According to the Public Relations officer of the 2nd Amphibious Brigade, Boni Camp, PortÂ Harcourt, Major Aminu Illiasu, there has been no incident in the Garden City to warrantÂ soldiersâ€™ involvement in security operation.
Similarly, the spokesperson of the military Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, ColonelÂ Timothy Antigha told P.M.NEWS this morning that there was nothing to suggest militaryÂ build-up in the region.
When P.M.NEWS visited the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Central BankÂ of Nigeria, CBN, only regular policemen were seen keeping guard at the offices.
â€”By Our Correspondents