Po­lice, NSCDC in­crease se­cu­rity around US, UK em­bassies

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE -

TFes­tus Abu and Ade­lani Ade­pegba

he po­lice and Nige­ria Se­cu­rity and Civil De­fence Corps have tight­ened se­cu­rity around the United States em­bassy and Bri­tish high Com­mis­sion in Abuja in re­sponse to fears they could be tar­geted by groups sym­pa­thetic to Iran in re­tal­i­a­tion for the killing of its most pow­er­ful mil­i­tary com­man­der, Qassem Soleimani.

The head of Iran’s pow­er­ful Is­lamic Revo­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps was killed in a US drone strike near Bagh­dad air­port on Jan­uary 3.

his killing sparked ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries, with Ira­nian supreme leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei vow­ing his coun­try would revenge the at­tack.

Iran on Wed­nes­day launched a bal­lis­tic mis­sile at­tack on two US air bases in Iraq hous­ing Amer­i­can troops.

Se­cu­rity forces have formed a cor­don to pre­vent any at­tack on the US and UK mis­sions, which share bound­ary, since Soleimani was killed along with Iraqi para­mil­i­tary chief, Abu Mahdi al-muhan­dis, in the Bagh­dad airstrike.

Ad­di­tional po­lice of­fi­cers and NSCDC of­fi­cers were seen around the two mis­sions on Mon­day with po­lice trucks sta­tioned around the build­ings.

One of our cor­re­spon­dents ob­served that the road be­side the Bri­tish high Com­mis­sion was par­tially blocked with a po­lice truck.

The In­spec­tor-gen­eral of Po­lice, Mo­hammed Adamu, placed po­lice com­mands and for­ma­tions na­tion­wide on high alert fol­low­ing in­tel­li­gence re­port that some “do­mes­tic in­ter­ests” were plan­ning to em­bark on mas­sive pub­lic dis­tur­bances and sab­o­tage to protest Soleimani’s killing.

he also directed them to beef up se­cu­rity around em­bassies.

The US and UK sub­se­quently told their na­tion­als in Nige­ria to be se­cu­rity-con­scious, ad­vis­ing them to avoid crowds and de­mon­stra­tions which they said could turn vi­o­lent.

The UK cited protests by the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria, pop­u­larly known as Shi’ites, which had of­ten re­sulted in vi­o­lent clashes with se­cu­rity forces.

Shi’ites make up the ma­jor­ity of the cit­i­zen pop­u­la­tion in Iran, and the IMN has strong links with the Mid­dle east na­tion.

The Ira­nian gov­ern­ment told the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to al­low the leader of the Is­lamic Move­ment of Nige­ria Ibra­heem el-zakzaky to come to Iran for med­i­cal treat­ment, critis­ing Nige­ria for de­tain­ing him and his wife.

But spokesman for the group, Ibrahim Musa, said they would not cause trou­ble over Soleimani’s killing.

Musa said, “If the IG in his state­ment was re­fer­ring to the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria, he was dead wrong.

The Is­lamic move­ment has been in ex­is­tence in the past 40 years and it has been peace­ful in all its agi­ta­tions.”

how­ever, the sect later protested the Ira­nian Gen­eral’s killing.

They burnt a US flag and chanted anti-amer­i­can slo­gans dur­ing the protest in Abuja.

• L-R: Oloye of Oye Ek­iti, Oba Olu­wole Ade­mo­laju; Ek­iti State Gov­er­nor, Dr Kay­ode Fayemi; Speaker, Ek­iti State House of As­sem­bly, Fun­miniyi Afuye; and state’s Com­mis­sioner for Works and Trans­port, Mr Sola Ade­byao, dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the Oye-ikun-otun-dairy Farm Road in Oye junc­tion… on Mon­day. Photo: Ek­iti State Gov­ern­ment

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.