The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has directed Zonal and State Commands of the police to provide adequate security to all places of worship during the Easter celebrations, just as the U.K. Foreign Office and the U.S. Embassy warn their citizens against travelling to certain parts of country considered “high risk” of a terrorist attack over the period.
The IGP, in a press statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olusola Amore, on Thursday in Abuja, directed that steps be taken to ensure proper coverage of all vulnerable points in the cities and highways during and after the Easter period.
While commending Nigerians for cooperating with policemen posted to their various communities, the IGP called for more support and understanding of the current security challenges as well as saluted the efforts of all policemen in the country for their tireless and selfless service to the nation.
“The administration of the force is committed to giving a new lease of life to the Nigerian Police and ensuring that its past glories are restored, as a highly dedicated, motivated and efficient police force,” the IGP said.
Urging Nigerians to avail the force with useful information to track down undesirable elements in the society, the IGP felicitated with Christians as they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, stressing the need for them to embrace peace, forgiveness and harmonious co-existence with people of other religious faiths.
But, the U.K. and the U.S. in their travel advice in Abuja noted the penchant of the extremist sect, Boko Haram, to launch attacks at religious places during major celebrations.
The U.K. embassy in particular, listed Borno, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Yobe states as the seven trouble spotsin the northern part of the country that its citizens must avoid.
“There is a high threat of terrorist attack during religious festivals,” the U.K. warning read.
The U.S. advice observed the now-commonplace attacks in the country and the “continued threats, including several that mention U.S. interests”, revealing its Embassy personnel had been forbidden from travelling to northern Nigeria since the January 2012 attack in Kano, which claimed the lives of about 185 people.
“The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor closely the ongoing threats posed by Nigerian extremist and criminal groups, and their stated intentions to carry out attacks against the Nigerian government and western interests and targets in Nigeria,” the U.S statement added.