Security in shopping malls and other rumoured targets of the Boko Haram sect in Lagos was on Tuesday tightened to forestall any attack by the dreaded sect.
Over the weekend, a message purportedly from the Lagos State government about an intelligence report on plans by Boko Haram to attack some public places said that “the attacks can only be prevented if the presidency agrees to their terms by Monday the 7th of May.”
Some of the places listed include the Murtala Mohammed International Airport; the shopping malls in Ikeja, Lekki, and Surulere; Silverbird Galleria; amongst others.
A visit to some of the shopping malls revealed extra security measures have been taken to prevent any attack.
At the Adeniran Ogunsanya shopping mall, Surulere, there was an increased presence of police officers as well as private security guards.
Plain clothed security men also patrolled the mall and its environs.
Metal detectors were used to frisk visitors while bags were searched, to the chagrin of some customers.
“We had a meeting with our security team yesterday to remind them of the speculation,” said Nwando Medidem, the mall’s Administration Manager.
“We don’t have to wait for anything to happen before we react,” she added.
Businesses at the mall, however, appeared not to be affected.
“I have not noticed any change in the volume of customers coming here today,” said an attendant in a fashion shop who did not want to be named.
It was a similar story at the Ikeja shopping mall where there was a much larger crowd; although security was not as tight.
“If there is any sign of a planned attack here, the shoppers here don’t seem to care,” said Toyin Ibi, a regular shopper at the mall.
“You can see the large number of people, it has not changed from the previous days,” she added.
The management of the mall said they do not talk to journalists.
Phone calls and text messages to Joseph Jaiyeoba, the Lagos Police spokesperson, were not responded to.
The message, which started circulating last Friday and went viral during the weekend urged people to be alert and report all suspicious moves as security has been “beefed up to counter proposed attacks.”