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Quick steps to take when caught up in attacks

Nigeria in recent times has been faced with multifaceted security challenges ranging from terrorists’ attacks on innocent citizens in several villages to kidnap for ransom…

Nigeria in recent times has been faced with multifaceted security challenges ranging from terrorists’ attacks on innocent citizens in several villages to kidnap for ransom by bandits, brutal murders by unknown gunmen, destruction of properties and gruesome killings by hoodlums.

Terrorists now move from one locality to another abducting residents and keeping them inside forests for months until ransom is paid. They invade communities at will, killing, looting, setting houses ablaze and abducting the residents.

Commuters are kidnapped from the highways and taken into the forests while some who are unable to pay ransom are killed.

Just recently, cases of explosions have been widely reported in Kogi, Taraba and Kano states where a reasonable number of lives were lost while others who are ‘lucky’ are recuperating in different hospitals with varying degrees of injury.

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These raging issues have called for serious concern from relevant authorities and well-meaning Nigerians who are working tirelessly to ensure the country returns to the path of safety.

However, while these efforts are ongoing, citizens need to be more aware of their environment and what goes on around them. This is to ensure that they are not taken unaware and in case of any tragedy, they know quick steps to take in order to either get themselves out of the woods or manage the situation to remain safe.

Move away from direction of danger

The National Emergency management Agency (NEMA) Territorial Head in Lagos, Ibrahim Farinloye when contacted to provide some safety tips said: “If there is an explosion, people must know the point of explosion. If it is a terrorist attack, the terrorists or the bandits will move from one point to the other so along the line, they must be coming from one direction. When they are coming from a direction, you move away from that direction; do not stay close to where they are coming from.

Remain indoors

Farinloye advised that those who are in indoors when attacks occur should not bother to go out and remain calm.

“They should remain indoors and should not panic, and all of them must lie flat on the floor so that they are not caught by flying bullets,” he warned.

Call emergency numbers

Farinloye further urged that those who have emergency numbers can call immediately for help and provide information about the location where the incident happened, if people are trapped or not and so on so the responders could dispatch the information to relevant agencies.

A security analyst, Peter Bunde, stressed that individuals must maintain situational awareness of their surroundings at all times and pay particular attention to things happening around them in order to identify anything unusual.

“If necessary, individuals are to leave the area and report suspicious activities or behaviour to relevant authorities,” he noted.

Bunde added that people should not discuss personal information in public, over the phone or on the internet. Extra precaution should be taken with social media networks (such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs).

“Avoid posting or providing personal information. Criminals and terrorists are known to use these forums for open source information gathering and these media do not provide ‘secure’ communications,” he concluded.

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