Fear Of Boko Haram In Lagos As Govt Reels Out Measure To Curb Terrorism
Huhuonline.com can exclusively report that there is anxiety among top government officials and security chiefs in Lagos state over the presence of Boko Haram insurgents in the state.
An unconfirmed security report claimed that the sect members had infiltrated the state and are planning to plant bombs in strategic places. The threat has however jolted stakeholders in the Lagos project who are currently battling with pre-security measures and strategies to tackle the insurgents' intrigues before they begin to manifest.
Sources within the state House of Assembly as well as top members of the Babatunde Fashola-led Executive Council say they have been urged to embark on innovations that would get the people highly educated concerning the influx of these perceived members of the dreaded sect whose activities have led to the death of several hundreds of Nigerians.
Huhuonline.com gathered that as a result of the porous borders and free movement of goods and services as well as people, it had been difficult for the security operatives to detect them. However, as a way to nip it in the bud, it was learnt that the State Government has approved the arrest and deportation of those considered 'illegal aliens' in the state.
These set of people, our source in government stressed, include those from Niger, Benin Republic, Chad and other such countries as well as parts of Nigeria where these violent activities have become a daily occurrence. Citizens of the country from the northern part who may be affected are those who are considered jobless within Lagos.
Huhuonline.com checks revealed that recently, in Lagos state, some alleged 'illegal aliens' entered the state, posing as herdsmen, but were later arrested with arms and substances suspected to be explosives. The suspects secretly prosecuted since the government did not want to cause panic among the residents of the state.
Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Umar Manko, considering the trend had warned that all those who considered themselves aliens, who came into the country illegally and are resident in Lagos should find their way out because the security agents would begin to clamp down on them.
Meanwhile, in order not to make themselves target of Boko Haram terrorists, the Commandant of the Air-force Base, Ikeja, Air Commodore Tony Omenyi, as well as the Nigerian Army Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Pat Aken, have warned their personnel to abstain from using stickers or any such thing that could easily give them away as military men in the society.
A top official of the state House of Assembly disclosed under condition of anonymity, that the security situation in the state was a serious debate at the State Security Council Meeting, which held recently at the Lagos House, Marina and chaired by Governor Fashola.
He said the state Governor also tasked the security operatives not to fail to seek government's assistance where it matters most in the fight against terrorism.
According to our source, another idea suggested by some of the attendees of the meeting was the outright banning of commercial motorcycles at the Alausa area of the state which is the base of government.
"It was also suggested that beginning from last week, the number of vehicles entering the Lagos state secretariat should be streamlined and limited only to government officials who could secure tags from the Vehicle Inspection Unit (VIO) of the state.
"But as ways to also reduce the number of vehicles for adequate monitoring of the secretariat, officials of the VIO were mandated to only give out between five and 10 tags to each Ministry, Agency or Parastatal in the state. That is why these days, you only find very few vehicles inside the secretariat."
Certainly, this may have been true as the early morning traffic problems caused by vehicular inspection daily around the secretariat is always harrowing.
Also using officials of the state's Task Force on Special Offences, the State Government recently stormed the Ikoyi area of the state where they arrested about 86 illegal squatters, food vendors and aliens in the area as part of the cleaning up exercise.
According to Bayo Suleiman, head of the Task Force, who co-led other officials with the Divisional Police Officer of the Ikoyi Police Station in the raid that lasted between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., these illegal squatters mostly live in uncompleted buildings and have been posing danger to other residents of the state.
Suleiman said the food vendors were arrested because they have been accused of selling food to suspected criminals squatting in uncompleted buildings in the area adding that the raid would continue as long as government wants to get rid of criminal elements in the state.
"All those arrested would be dealt with in accordance to the Nigerian law and for those who are not Nigerians, I am very certain they would be deported.