INCREASED SECURITY IN THE NORTH OVER FEARS OF FRESH ATTACKS
Palpable fears have engulfed residents of northern states, following last week's bomb attacks in Borno and Yobe states by the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram. Reports indicated that the fears are predicated on the threat by Boko Haram that there would be more bomb attacks. Also, the fear is founded on the warning issued by the United States authorities that high-profile hotels, among others, would be targets of bomb attacks.
Saturday Sun gathered that since last week, residents of cities, like Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Jos, Katsina, Sokoto, Gasua, Kebbi and others have been avoiding public places, like market, social activities and churches, for fear that Boko Haram could plant bombs there.
Following the fears of fresh attacks, security have been beefed up in some northern states, with soldiers, policemen and personnel of other security outfits keeping watch. The security officers are armed to the teeth and conducting searches in the street. There are roadblocks manned by soldiers and policemen in major streets. They also watch over government establishments and installations as well as patrol suspected volatile areas. Also, State Security Services (SSS) personnel, sources revealed, are engaged in serious intelligence gathering, with the intention of uncovering anything that would cause security breach.
In Kano, report indicated that security agencies are on the alert. There's noticeable presence of uniformed officers in the streets. Also, police patrol vehicles are stationed at strategic locations in the state capital, with policemen watching over the movement of persons. There are also stop-and-search posts across the state, with stern-looking mobile police officers manning them.
In Niger State, there's heavy police presence in Minna and Suleja. Also, there's tension in the state, especially since it shares a common boundary with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, where security has also been tightened.
For Plateau, there has been security alert for months, following the incessant violent attacks, which, though, are not linked to Boko Haram. In the capital city of Jos and some others, soldiers are manning checkpoints, where vehicles are screened.
There's also fear in Kogi State, following the Yobe and the latest Maiduguri bombing. At present, soldiers have been deployed to strategic locations in the state, including major roads leading to the state capital. They conduct 'stop and search' on vehicles going inside and coming outside the state capital.
In Benue State, even though people are going about their activities, they are doing so cautiously. Security has been beefed up in most establishments in the state capital, with security agents on the alert. People are subjected to thorough security checks in banks, government house, Air Force Base and other parastatals across the state.
Security has also been beefed up in Kaduna metropolis and its environs, especially since last week's attack on a church, which left two people killed and many others injured.
The anti-bomb experts and policemen have mounted roadblocks and subjecting vehicles to serious scrutiny. Worship centres have also experienced increased security. Also, there's tight security at Government House, as fierce looking soldiers, policemen as well as plain-cloth security men are positioned at the entrance at the gate.
Across the city, soldiers and other security operatives are at strategic places, particularly the roundabouts within the metropolis.