SECURITY has been beefed up around Nigeria’s National Assembly complex in Abuja amid fears that terrorist sect Boko Haram is planning to launch an attack against the facility and several other public buildings.
Several members of the House of Representatives confirmed that they had been notified of the imminent attack by the terrorist group. One of them, who is from a state in the southwest geo-political zone, said his presence would henceforth be limited on the premises as a result of the threat.
“I’m already moving out of here and I’ll only be around when there is a major reason to do so. Nowhere is safe in the country anymore,” he added.
Already a notice on the impending attack has been made available to the lawmakers with a copy sent to the speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal officers. Titled security alert, the notice was issued by the chairman of the House Committee on Internal Security, National Assembly, Usman Shiddi.
The alert read: “I refer to the above subject of which a copy of the intelligence report from the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force in the National Assembly Complex has been made available to my office. The report indicates planned insurgent attacks by some elements of Boko Haram on some VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja, including the National Assembly complex.
“In view of the above intelligence, I have considered it paramount to advise that all members should, henceforth, use the presidential gate for ingress and egress. This is to avoid the unforeseen congestions that are sometimes encountered at the main gates, since such congestions could easily be the targets for these insurgent elements.
“Security agencies are, however, actively on top of the issue to unravel and to contain the intended menace. Accept the assurances of my highest regards, please.”
As a result of the threat, for the first time, security operatives checked vehicles entering the premises, causing traffic congestion especially at the third and last gate. Before now, the security operatives were only after the identities of drivers and passengers to confirm that they were staff members, legislative aides, journalists or persons working in private businesses in the complex.