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FG orders surveillance on OPC, MASSOB, Niger Delta groups, others

Posted by The Punch on 2005/07/15 | Views: 349 |

FG orders surveillance on OPC, MASSOB, Niger Delta groups, others

Indications emerged on Friday that the Federal Government may have ordered security agencies to maintain strict surveillance on all the militant groups operating in the country.

Indications emerged on Friday that the Federal Government may have ordered security agencies to maintain strict surveillance on all the militant groups operating in the country.

Saturday Punch learnt that government’s order followed fears that some militant groups may want to use the bomb attacks in London penultimate Thursday as well as the abrupt manner in which the National Political Reform Conference ended last Monday to stir up a bloody crisis in the country.

Our correspondent learnt that the surveillance was a pre-emptive measure to forestall possible eruption of violence as well as the infiltration of the country by foreign terrorists.

Among the groups under close watch are Odua Peoples Congress, Arewa Peoples Congress, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and Alhaji Moujahid Dokubo-Asari’s Niger Delta Volunteer Front.

A senior police officer told our correspondent on Thursday that a number of state commissioners of police had been instructed by the police high command to maintain extreme vigilance over the activities of the militias in their respective states.

Another security source told our correspondent that although there was no intelligence report warning of an imminent attack in any part of the country, government was not, however, going to take things for granted.

He said that having studied the pattern of operations of the London bombers and their cohorts in volatile nations of the world such as Iraq and Afghanistan, government believed that there was the need to watch the militias closely because of the possibility that they could be incited by foreign terrorists to cause havoc in the country.

According to the source, security agencies had been instructed to infiltrate the groups, where possible, in order to monitor their contacts with interests outside Nigeria and any plans to stir up terror.

This infiltration strategy, Saturday Punch gathered, was to be done subtly to prevent a backlash from the groups.

“I don’t think there was any security report to justify the action but you can never be too careful. The thinking in security circles today is that you don’t try to rationalise for these groups and I think that is what is happening now,” the source said.

The source said that militias in the South-South as well as key political figures in the geo-political zone were high on the watchlist over the vexed resource control issue, in case they suddenly decided to use violent means to actualize their demand for a higher derivation formula.

A source in the Nigeria Immigration Service said on Friday that NIS operatives were paying close attention to persons entering the country newly, adding that the ECOWAS agreement on free passage across West African countries might be reviewed for security reasons.

But speaking on the matter, the NIS spokesman, Mr. Patrick Sessy, told our correspondent on Friday that such a review was not easily done because it would take a summit of ECOWAS heads of government for Nigeria to review the policy. He, however, assured that the service was doing its best to ensure that only persons with legitimate business in the country were granted entry.

Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Ighodalo, would not confirm if there was such an order to closely watch militant groups.

He stated that the police had always taken their job of law enforcement seriously, adding that while he was not aware of the security watch, he was sure that the police was determined not to allow the militia groups a free reign.

“It is not in the best interest of the country for these damages to continue,” he said.

As at press time, a meeting of the Joint Intelligence Board, comprising top shots in security circles in the country, was said to be going on in Abuja although our correspondent could not obtain further details.

Penultimate weekend, Saturday Punch reported exclusively that the Federal Government had ordered a red alert by security agencies.

The security agencies were also directed to deploy bomb detector squads in Lagos and Abuja and to also monitor sensitive installations such as oil facilities and embassies.

Nigeria has been identified as a possible target for attacks by the al-Quaeda.

Saturday Punch, July 16, 2005

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Comments (5)

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...


Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown