The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has placed all its state commands on alert, following intelligence reports that Boko Haram terrorists, as well as those of Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, have heightened plots to attack the nation’s capital, Abuja, and five other states, including Lagos.
This came as military sources confirmed, yesterday, that a Lieutenant and five soldiers were still missing after last Sunday’s attack on troops of 7 Guards Battalion and 176 Battalion of Guards Brigade by terrorists in Abuja, which left an Army captain dead.
In the leaked memo, dated July 25 and signed by the Deputy Commandant General, DCG, Operations, Dauda Mungadi, which was addressed to all state commands of the NSCDC, the Corps said two separate bandit groups have also concluded plans to attack Abuja and others.
The memo read: “We have received credible intelligence that Boko-Haram and the ISWAP terrorist groups have mobilised fighters and high calibre weapons, particularly Rocket Propelled Grenades, RPG, launchers, Anti-Aircraft, AA, guns and General Purpose Machine Guns, GPMGS, which they intend to deploy for the offensive in Katsina State.
“In another development, two separate bandit groups are plotting coordinated attacks on North-West, North-Central and South-West (Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kogi, FCT and Lagos), respectively.
“Consequently the Commandant-General has directed you to scale up deployment in all strategic places including schools, worship centres and critical national assets in your respective states to checkmate any possible threats by these criminal elements. Please treat as urgent.”
There has been apprehension in the nation’s capital and other parts of the country, following increased attacks on security formations, as well as the Presidential Guards, in Abuja.
Also, yesterday, military sources confirmed that a Lieutenant and five soldiers were still missing after last Sunday’s attack on troops of 7 Guards Battalion and 176 Battalion of Guards Brigade, by terrorists, in Abuja, which left an Army Captain dead.
This is just as it has emerged that both Captain Samuel Attah, who was killed, and Lieutenant Ibrahim Suleiman, who is among those still missing in action, are indigenes of Kogi State.
Sources told Vanguard that while those who sustained injuries during the ambush were recieving medical attention at a military medical facility in Abuja, efforts were currently on to locate and rescue the missing officers.
A source, however, said there might be likelihood that some soldiers, who escaped the ambush with bullet wounds, may have paid the supreme price but noted that until they were found, they would still be considered as missing in action, MIA.
Recall that spokesman of Guards Brigade, Captain Godfrey Abakpa, had confirmed, on Monday, that terrorists ambushed troops attached to the Presidential Guards Brigade, as they were conducting patrols in Bwari area, as a result of intelligence that the Nigeria Law School, Bwari, may be attacked.
Authorities of the Law School were said to have alerted the public that terrorists had dropped a letter indicating an imminent attack.
Captain Abakpa said it was when troops responded to the fears of the Law School and residents of the area that the terrorists attacked the troops who were already combing the vicinity to locate and flush out the terrorists.
The late Captain Samuel Attah is said to be the son of a retired Colonel in the Nigerian Army, Col. Ahmodu Babanawa, who hails from Ibaji/Okpo in Olamaboro Local Government Area.
Late Attah was from Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State.
We recorded 3 casualties — Army spokesman
“However, the Nigerian Army said last night it recorded three casualties when its troops from the guards brigade’s 7 battalion were attacked by terrorists in Abuja on Sunday.
Speaking on the attack, Godfrey Abakpa, spokesperson of the brigade, said no soldier was abducted by the gunmen, but noted that the troops recorded three casualties in the encounter.
“No soldier was abducted; we only had three casualties and they were evacuated,” he said.
He also said the troops had dislodged ‘the criminals’ from the area and had continued an exploitation operation within the vicinity of the attack.
IGP orders deployment of additional assets, manpower to fortify Abuja’s security
Also yesterday, the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, ordered the deployment of additional assets to beef up security in Abuja.
Making this known last night, Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said the Police was leaving no stone unturned to ensure adequate security of lives and property for residents.
He said: “We are not leaving any stone unturned to fortify the Federal Capital Territory and its environs.
“The IGP has ordered additional deployment of assets to strategic areas of the FCT, while the Force Intelligence Bureau has been charged on robust intelligence gathering and information sharing among other agencies.
“All residents of the FCT are urged to synergise and be on the same page with the Police and other security agencies in making sure that we forestall any ugly incidences in and around the FCT.”
Meanwhile, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has expressed grief over the death of Army officials killed during the ambush on the Presidential Brigade Guard on Sunday by suspected terrorists after the Army officers responded to a distress call from the Nigeria Law School, Bwari.
Bello in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammed Onogwu, yesterday, said it was more saddening that two of the fallen gallant officers, namely Captain Samuel Attah and Lieutenant Ibrahim Suleiman, were illustrious sons of Kogi State.
The governor condemned the terrorists ambush, describing it as a dastardly act and a show of cowardice, while urging the authorities to expedite actions and ensure the capture of those responsible to forestall a recurrence.