14th March, 2012
Roads and streets leading to worship centres in Jos and environs, will henceforth, be blocked to vehicles during church services to check the new trend of suicide bombing of churches.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the decision was among key measures taken at a security meeting on Tuesday in Jos.
The meeting attended by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dipo Ayeni, Special Task Force (STF) Commander, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim and SSS Director, Mr. Christian Ojobo.
Also in attendance were the NSCDC Commander, Mr. Desmond Agu, top security officers and representatives of Plateau government.
Ayeni, while announcing the decision at a stakeholders security meeting on Tuesday in Jos, said, “we are tired of carrying corpses every Sunday.
“On Sundays and Fridays, all roads leading to all worship centres must be totally blocked or diverted. No vehicle should have access or park near any worship centre during service.
“There should be perimeter fencing of all the worship centres not only in Jos, but all over the state, to prevent easy access by suicide bombers to the places of worship.”
Ayeni also said that “every worshipper must, as a matter of compelling necessity, subject himself or herself to security checks no matter how highly placed.”
The police commissioner also announced a ban on carrying of bags in worship centres and advised worshippers against clustering around the places of worship instead of quickly going back home.
The police officer tasked worship centres to purchase technical devices that could scan and detect explosive devices and stated that no one should be exempted from the checks.
While enlightening the gathering on the mode of operation of terrorists, the Commander of the Police anti-bomb squad, Mr. Abel Mbimbi, cautioned against rushing to the scene of explosions.
He explained that this was because a secondary explosives might be lurking around the corner.
Mbimbi also said that Nigerians had been destroying many evidential materials by rushing to the scenes of blasts, which could have been used to trace the sources through finger prints.
On the use of military uniform by suicide bombers, the STF Commander, Ibrahim, said that it was very difficult to differentiate between fake and genuine soldiers as military camouflages were sold in the open markets.
“But anyone who suspects anybody in uniform should demand his identity and everybody should also be checked at security posts.
“We are conducting thorough searches at checkpoints now to check cases of fake soldiers,” Ibrahim said.
The SSS Director, Ojobo, tasked imams and pastors to show good leadership examples by subjecting themselves to security checks.
He explained that this was because those, who have access to them could be used by Boko Haram to strap explosives on their vehicles.
In his remark, Rev. Benjamin Kwashi, Bishop of Jos Anglican Diocese, said criminals should be made to face the wrath of the law.
He said that failure to bring them to justice had made some of them to even rise to leadership positions.
Kwashi also lamented the army of unemployed youths, which he said was about 7.88 million in 2002, and tasked government to create jobs.
The bishop also decried the high supply and consumption of drugs by youths in the Northern part of the country and tasked the appropriate enforcement agencies to check the ugly trend.