Abuja Security Alert: Amusement Parks, Bars, Malls, Others Face Low Patronage, Shut Down

Abuja Security Alert: Amusement Parks, Bars, Malls, Others Face Low Patronage, Shut Down

  • The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has begun to witness a decline in business activities over the past few days
  • This is coming after the United States' high commission in the FCT issued a terror alert
  • This instantly resulted into a panic around the FCT, especially at the metropolis with many businesses shut down

FCT, Abuja - It's expected that this period, families take their wards out for special treats following the declaration of a mid-term break in most schools in the nation’s capital.

This week, only a few schools, especially government schools did not go on break as the school calendar hits the middle of the academic term. But the usual bustling in the beautiful city of Abuja has gone quiet over the recent security threat by terrorists in the nation’s capital.

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FCT, Abuja, Terror Alert
The iconic city gate in FCT is located in the middle of the metropolis of Abuja. Photo: FCTA
Source: Facebook

United States warning

The United States Embassy had earlier warned that the nation’s capital was at a high- security risk, ordering its workers in Abuja to take serious precautions.

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A statement from the embassy in Abuja revealed that the suspected terrorists might be targeting government buildings, Churches and Mosques, schools, markets, malls and plazas, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, parks, law enforcement facilities, and international organisations buildings.

The embassy advised all its staff and US citizens in Abuja and Nigeria to avoid non-essential travels and movements as well as crowded places for now. It also disclosed that it will offer reduced services until further notice. It charged Americans to keep their phones charged and review their personal security plans.

UK reacts to warning

The British High Commission reacted in a similar way in a short statement by announcing that the Commission in Abuja will be open for Business only to critical staff only. It said all colleagues wishing to travel to BHC should seek authorisation from Line Manager/ Block Leads, and in advance of travel. The BHC Abuja UKB parents were also advised strongly suspend sending their children to schools following the threat of insecurity in Abuja.

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DSS agrees with warning but calls for calm

The Department of State Security, DSS, while agreeing with the warning urged residents to take precautions but to be calm. The Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, said the agency had issued similar security alerts in the recent past, stating that:

“While advising that necessary precautions are taken by all and sundry, the populace is enjoined to remain alert and assist security agencies with valuable information regarding threats and suspicious criminal acts around them.”

The DSS further promised to work with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to maintain peace and order across the country.

Police faults security alert

The Inspector General of Police, Usman Akali Baba has allayed the fear of any attack on the nation’s capital by suspected terrorists.

A statement issued by the force urged FCT residents to go about their lawful businesses, normal social lives and other engagements as the force is firmly in charge.

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Baba also directed the full activation of all emergency numbers across the country for prompt response as combatant officers and men are on standby to respond in case of emergency situations.

The following emergency lines were provided by the force: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883.

Probing into the US security alert

Legit.ng has observed that the security alert by the United States may not be a false alarm going by past attacks on the FCT by suspected terror groups.

Only this year, terrorists carried out multiple attacks on the nation’s capital. First and very prominent too was the attack on Kuje Correctional Centre where many detained Boko Haram terrorists were set free. An attack on the presidential guard of honour in the Bwari area council led to the death of 8 military officers including a leader of the local council vigilante.

An attack on a checkpoint near Zuma Rock near Abuja came shortly after the attack on the presidential guard in Bwari. But the military went after the terrorists and decimated a few of them them. No particular arrest was made in the process.

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The discovery of suspected explosive devices and guns at the Trademore estate by the DSS and some military officers may have further justified the earlier warning by the US embassy.

Reports emerged on Tuesday, October 25 that a combined team of the military and the DSS stormed the estate located in Lugbe Abuja and went straight to the police quarters in the estate where the explosives and the guns were recovered.

Even though the police have termed the report as fake, the news has further given strength to the US claims.

On Thursday, October 27 Jabi Lake Mall and other malls within the city centre shut down operations following the security threat and the advisory by the US embassy.

A circular shutting down Jabi Lake Mall was obtained by journalists. When Legit.ng visited the mall, activities were truly shut.

Other busy areas in Abuja that operate deep into the night were forced to shut down operations. Open bars like Yellow Page in Kubwa, White House in Dutse, and other bars in Gwarinpa were forced to shut down early on Thursday.

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Legit.ng also observed poor customer patronage in other social areas visited, even as workers returned home on time to avoid late-night driving.

Minister confirms disruption of businesses in Abuja

Reacting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said some media outlets and social media personalities usually spread unverified news on their platforms just for clickbait and to make money.

In a statement signed by Segun Adeyemi, a special adviser, Lai said clickbait was the reason for the recent security alert in Abuja.

He said:

“Talking of clickbait, this may be what informed the spread of the supposed security alert issued recently by some foreign embassies in Nigeria. One would imagine that if indeed this kind of security alert was issued, it was for the attention of citizens of the issuing countries in Nigeria. Suddenly, this alert found its way into the media, both new and traditional, thus creating panic in the polity.”

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Confirming the apprehension in the nation’s capital over the announcement and the shutting down of businesses in Abuja, he said:

“Schools were shut. Businesses were closed. Travel plans were altered. Lives were disrupted. No one cared to find out about the authenticity of these alerts. They just published, got the benefit of massive clickbait and damned the consequences.”

Source: Legit.ng

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