Residents of the Federal Capital Territory are panicking over a security advisory issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria to its staff across the country.
The advisory was issued Wednesday by the CBN Security Services Department.
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Some staff of the CBN, who spoke to Daily Trust on condition of anonymity, confirmed the authenticity of the memo.
The memo, addressed to all staff of the bank, among other things, warned them against irrelevant travels, keeping late nights and flamboyant lifestyles that would attract criminals infiltrating Abuja.
A resident, Nanman Philemon Kash, said: “The deteriorating state of security in the country has become so worrisome; it has never been this terrible. This rising wave of insecurity in the country has affected so many workers.
“I’m a nurse and our members have been kidnapped severally. Just last week, two nurses on duty were kidnapped in Kaduna and about two days ago in Abia State a nurse was murdered in her home.
“While security is everyone’s business, I’m appealing to government to tackle insecurity holistically, not just from the socio-economic point,” she said.
She added that if Abuja could become so unsafe, then, the country was facing a major crisis.
Umar Faruk, a resident of Kubwa in Abuja, said he was very cautious since the report of the take-over of 50 communities in two local government areas in Niger State by bandits.
He said he would be extra vigilant while home or the mosque. He urged religious leaders to be more proactive about strange faces coming to pray in either the mosques or churches.
Also, Mustafa Muhammed, the Sarkin Fada of Zuba palace, said they were very disturbed about the report as the area had witnessed abductions around the Tungan-Maje, adding that “Zuba is one of the Abuja areas that share boundary with Niger State. Our ward heads have been directed to report any strange thing to the authorities.”
However, another resident, Adamu Toro, said: “Sometimes, we overreact to the security challenge based on social media used by bad elements to frighten people and cause unrest.
“Whatever the case may be, let’s stand up and not be cowed by people that are intent in taking over our freedoms”.
The advisory read in part: “Security intelligence reports have informed of plan by undesirable elements to infiltrate various parts of the country particularly, state capitals and the FCT with the intention to perpetrate crimes of abduction and kidnapping for ransom or as recruits for terrorism.”
It further stated that: “It is strongly suspected that these activities are likely to be carried out in the evenings and at night.
It also advised staff to “limit all social engagements to those that are absolutely necessary.
“Maintain very low profile and remain as inconspicuous as possible,” the memo emphasised.
It also advised its staff to “Avoid all travels (air or road) except absolutely necessary and contact Heads of Security at the location of travel for additional advisory.”
“Keep contact numbers of relevant Security agencies within reach for you and other family members,” it said.
One of the staff told our correspondent that the the memo was for internal consumption thus he could not discuss it.
Reacting, the spokesman of the FCT Police Command, in a statement yesterday, reassured residents of adequate protection of lives and property in the territory.
The statement said: “The Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, has deployed overt and covert strategies to curb banditry and criminal activities, particularly on the borders of the territory.
“The command implores residents to report all suspicious movements, emergency or distress, through these numbers: *08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653,08028940883”.
By Terkula Igidi, Chris Agabi & Adam Umar