NIGERIA’S intelligence agency has alerted the public to probable attacks at worship and recreational centres during yearly Islamic festivities.
To be commemorated next Wednesday (June 28), the Id el Kabir is an additional holiday in the West African country, marking the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.
The Department of State Services (DSS) called for vigilance prior to the Eid celebrations, more so that reports had indicated plans to attack worship and recreational centres before and during the festivities.
“This is evident in the recovery of primed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) among the suspected terrorists,” said DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya.
He spoke following the arrest of a suspected gunrunner and the killing
of a jail breaker said to be a gang leader.
Ahead of the festivities, DSS said operators and patrons of public places including markets and malls are advised to be watchful and report any suspicious movements and persons to the relevant security agencies.
“Accordingly, the Service will continue to partner with sister agencies for necessary proactive drills to frustrate criminals and their activities,” Afunanya said.
On celebrations of Eid, Muslims gather in mosques to offer special prayers and offer sacrifices of sheep, goats and other animals.
This week, DSS provided an update after a security team comprising the agency, Nigerian Army and Police carried out operations in the north-central states of Kogi and Nasarawa.
Abubakar Muhammad (alias Abu Direba), a suspected gunrunner, was arrested in the Keffi area of Nasarawa. The joint team seized 486 rounds of ammunition and 22 primed IEDs.
A team raided the hideout of Kabir Bala (alias Okwo), a one-time jailbreaker and gang leader in Ofu area of Kogi State. The suspect and alleged gang members engaged the troops in a gun duel during which he was killed.
“Others, however, fled the area,” Afunanya said.
Items recovered at the scene were an AK47 rifle with three fully loaded magazines, six locally fabricated weapons, phones and charms.
Insecurity is rife in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country (estimated at 220 million people), almost equally divided between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.
– CAJ News