Security Agencies on Red Alert as Bomb Explosion Rocks Abuja

Security Agencies on Red Alert as Bomb Explosion Rocks Abuja

The security agencies have been placed on red alert throughout the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja following the explosion that occurred in Nyanya bus stop on Monday morning.

CSP Frank Mba, Police Force spokesman, told newsmen in Abuja at the scene of the incident that the blast occurred at about 6.55 a.m.

“The FCT police are already on red alert; security in and around Abuja is being strengthened; we are paying very close attention to all vulnerable points.

“We are also paying close attention to motor parks. We advise the public to avoid unnecessary huge crowd. We are also paying close attention to government buildings.

“We want to appeal for calm, cooperation and patience,’’ he said, describing the incident as sad.

Mba confirmed that 16 high capacity buses, some cars and motorcycles were affected in the explosion.

He said investigation had begun.

“Experts from the Bomb Disposal Squad are on ground, the police are working with other security agencies.

“At this stage, we may not be able to give the casualty figure; the reasons are obvious; a lot of people are in the hospital; our detectives are visiting hospitals and taking count.

“We want to give you figures that we can back up with facts,’’ he said.

A survivor, Prince Igwe, however, said a vehicle was driven into the park and parked in front of the already loaded high capacity buses.

“The driver hurriedly parked and disappeared shortly after the explosion went off. I was inside one of the buses; I struggled to come out.

“Many people died,’’ Igwe said.

The car was burnt beyond recognition but its chassis number could still be located on the engine.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who got to the scene shortly after the blast, counted about 70 corpses at the scene.

The huge explosion left a big crater at the scene of the blast.

Those affected were passengers, mostly workers leaving the park to the city centre, petty traders and vehicles conveying passengers to other locations within and outside the FCT.

Police and other security agencies as well as paramilitary agencies carrying out rescue operation had hectic time controlling crowd at the scene.

The force spokesman appealed to them to leave the scene for unfettered investigation.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar; Commander of Guards Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Anthony Omozoje and top security personnel visited the scene.Image

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JAMB Postpones UTME in Borno State

JAMB Postpones UTME in Borno State

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday postponed Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Borno State following Friday killings by Boko Haram in Borno State.

There were reports on Friday that Boko Haram insurgents attacked four communities in the State leaving scores of people dead including some JAMB candidates.

But, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of JAMB, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, while monitoring the conduct of the examination in Centres within the Federal Capital Territory however debunked the reports, saying the victims were not UTME candidates.

Prof. Ojerinde said the 400 candidates would be made to sit for the examination at a date to be announced later by JAMB, adding that they would be examined through the Computer Based Test (CBT).

Reacting to the reports of the killing of some UTME candidates by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Prof. Ojerinde said, “They were not JAMB candidates. Of course, they were attacked and Jamb candidates who supposed to go to Maiduguri have decided to stay at home.

“We will cater for them using the Computer Based Test. We are aware of that. In fact, they are just afraid of what would happen, that is why they did not go there. So they are not precisely JAMB candidates.

In the meantime, JAMB has insisted that the Paper Pencil Test (PPT) Examination mode would be scrapped from 2015, with all future enrolment to be on Computer Based Test.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, MacJohn Nwaobiala, confirmed the information while also monitoring the UTME at Base University, Abuja.

According to Nwaobiala, “The Computer Based Test is more efficient. It is something that is global in nature. I know that a lot of work has been done to ensure that by the time we transit completely next year to CBT, more candidates will easily flow and join the process.

A total of one million, six hundred and six thousand, seven hundred and fifty-three (1, 606, 753)candidates applied for the UTME examination  scheduled to be held in three hundred and ninety-two (392) examination towns in Nigeria and seven (7) foreign centres  this year.

TImagehe 2014 examination was conducted in the three modes namely: Computer Based Test (CBT), Dual Based Test (DBT) and Paper Pencil Test (PPT).

Child-Bride Murders Groom 17 Days after Wedding: Regrets Action

Child-Bride Murders Groom 17 Days after Wedding: Regrets Action

Child-bride, Wasila Umar, accused of killing her husband and three of his friends while injuring many others after she served them poisoned food, in Kano, regrets her action.

Expressing her regret she said, “Mine was a typical example of youthful exuberance; it dawned on me shortly after that it was a joke taken too far to resolve a forced marriage question”, Wasila, 14, said. The killings happened only 17 days after their marriage.

The suspect, in tears as she spoke to reporters at Bompai police Imageheadquarters, Kano, where she is being detained, added: “I have never enjoyed the opportunity of going to Islamic school or acquiring Western education. My father forced me into this mess by stubbornly forcing me into a relationship I was not prepared to live in “.

Wasila Umar, who hails from Yansoro- Kademi in Gaya local government area of Kano State revealed that “though my target was my late husband, I must confess that my blood went cold when I realized I had committed mass murder”.

Wasila is now in police custody for killing her husband, Umar Sani, 35, and three of his friends on the spot even as 10 others were hospitalized shortly after eating a  local meal mixed with rat poison at Yansoro –Kademi, last week.

Narrating how she executed the mass murder, she confessed: “On the fateful day, my husband’s meal was prepared by the senior wife and put  in my room as I was due in fulfillment of his rotational duty in a polygamous setting.

“I obtained the rat poison for just N100 and, at my convenience, mixed it with the local dish prepared for him. When he returned home for the feast, he came with those who were destined to die with him. I was restless but could not stop it from happening.

“I felt normal and slept after the incident but the consequence of my action was clear when I was picked up by the police and I felt cold for the first time”.

She further explained that “destiny appears to have played a wicked one on me at this early stage of my life   and I would rededicate the rest of my life to sincerely seek Allah’s forgiveness”.

However, despite the overwhelming evidence the police have to prosecute the alleged culpable homicide, they seemed to be in a dilemma due to age of the suspect.

Commenting on the development the Kano State Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Magaji Musa Majia, said “the case has been referred to appropriate authorities for the next line of action.:

“I am assuring you that Wasila would appear in court soon because we have limitation on the number of days we can keep a suspect no matter the perceived weakness of the case or the personality involved”, Magaji revealed.

JAMB Candidates Massacred in Borno

JAMB Candidates Massacred in Borno
Over 200 people including some students travelling to write the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Borno State have been reportedly killed by the Boko Haram insurgents. The students were among several persons that lost their lives in multiple attacks unleashed by the terrorists in four communities.
The Senator representing Borno Central in the Nigerian Senate, Zannah Ahmed, on Friday, accused the military of complicity in Thursday attack in parts of troubled Borno State where he claimed that 210 people were killed in attacks on four communities.
The communities included Dikwa, Gambulga, Gwoza and Kala Balge. Senator Ahmed claimed that the attackers were all dressed in military uniforms and spoke English language. This was a departure from the Hausa and Kanuri language spoken by the Boko Haram insurgents.
He also lamented that the authorities of the military post in Gamboru, which purportedly received a distressed call from the people of Kala Balge avoided the community, claiming that it was not in its area of command.
Ahmed who said he was compelled to speak out because his people were being killed on a daily basis, lamented “what happened in Borno was beyond understanding.”
“It is a must for me to speak since the people lives are involved and they are my people. All these are happening in my constituency and it will be wrong to keep quiet. I feel so much pained and would not have spoken but definitely my conscience will not let me do that”, he narrated.
He alleged that 210 people were slaughtered by marauders, who dressed in military uniforms and attacked the communities in two armored personnel cars and seven double cabin pickups.
According to Senator Ahmed, they attacked a Teachers College in Dikwa and killed seven people, burnt down the school library and administrative block.
He alleged that Kala Balge was the most devastated as 60 people were killed by the armed men who went on the rampage.

He explained that after they left Kala Balge they attacked three other communities in the area where a total of 150 persons were killed.
A reliable security source, however, said that the insurgents laid ambush for a group of students who were on their way to Biu from Maiduguri to write Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Examination (JAMB) scheduled for Saturday April 12, 2014.
It was also learnt that the JAMB candidates were riding in eight vehicles when they ran into the insurgents’ ambush.
It was, however, not clear whether the insurgents got the all occupants of the eight vehicles killed or not. The incident was said to take place on Wednesday evening.

Stop this Underdevelopment of Nigeria

Stop this Underdevelopment of Nigeria

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Ignorance of this truly explicit and indelible word is helping to under-develop Nigeria in this 21st century. Some of our politicians are best described as political cowards who speak from two sides of their mouth and act before thinking. Their deeds are underdeveloping us and therefore worrisome and wicked. They reflect the “Opposite Man” in all aspects of life. When they talk of democracy they mean dictatorship; when they speak of detribalization they signify ethnicity and religious fanaticism; when they say transparency and accountability they indicate secrecy and corruption; when they discuss competency they imply bad-apprenticeship; when they preach rule of law they connote rule of terror and impunity:  when they shout peace they unlash violence; when they pronounce security they suggest crime and fear of crime; when they announce  free and fair elections they saturate the whole place with guns and small arms and light weapons, entice the youths into political killing, propagate thuggrey, gangsterism and embark on do-or-die electioneering activities; when they proclaim loyalty they signify enslavement. But when you call for ideas they threaten and present excuses. We know why they stand excused! They cannot give what they don’t have. That is the reason why good people like you must come out to chase the bad people away through the instruments of ballot box. It is time for the good people of this country to come together to stop this underdevelopment of Nigeria through active participation in political activities. Don’t stand aloof; don’t sit on the fence. Remember, when the righteous rule, the people rejoice.

Nigerian Security Agencies Invoked Protective Restriction on VIPs

Nigerian Security Agencies Invoked Protective Restriction on VIPs

 

The Nigerian Security agencies have restricted the movement of some dignitaries. The object of this restriction is not to curtail their fundamental human rights to freedom of movement, but to protect them.

According to the report, the Very Important Personalities (VIPs) affected by the “protective” restriction include: the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, former-President Shehu Shagari, former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and others are prominent emirs, governors, former-governors, ministers, former-ministers and some highly-placed Nigerians.

“The security agencies are usually updated with their movement schedules by their security details and where it is challenging to be in a place or an environment at any given period. But still there is a probability that something may go wrong when visiting any part of the Northeast – the heart of the Boko Haram insurgency”, the security source revealed.

It was learnt that where visits are inevitable, security will be strengthened to guarantee the passage of such personalities.

The travel advisory followed threats by Boko Haram to attack General Ibrahim Babangida and a former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari. Others targeted by the terrorists are Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his Borno State counterpart, Kashim Shettima, a former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and the Shehu of Borno.

Although the security walls around some of those on the wanted list of the insurgents seem impenetrable, it was learnt that the agencies have decided to take preventive measures to avoid any problem.

“Security agencies don’t want the politically-exposed persons to be either victims of the insurgents or be caught in crossfire”, the source said.

According to security source, the restriction is in form of travel advisory. It is part of their new proactive steps to check insurgents who can hit any target.

“The killing of Gen. Muhammadu Shuwa, the attacks on the Emir of Kano and Shehu of Borno and others have made this restriction necessary,” the source reiterated.

Many former-governors, Senators and members of the House of Representatives enjoy such services. Among them is a former governor in the Northeast who was once quizzed on alleged link with Boko Haram. The on-going security readjustment must, therefore, be made to trickle down for all Nigerians to embrace the attainment of a personal security-sufficiency as a long-term aspirational goal.

Adopting Grassroots Intelligence System to Combat Terrorism and Other Crimes

ADOPTING GRASSROOTS INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM TO COMBAT TERRORISM AND OTHER CRIMES

One of the factors militating against Nigeria’s war against terrorism and other violent crimes is poor intelligence. Intelligence is an important factor in successful security operations managemeImagent. Attempting to check insecurity without availability of real-time intelligence is like trying to cross a busy road blindfolded. It is suicidal as we are experiencing in the war against Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria and oil theft and vandalization of oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region. Intelligence information is the raw material with which security decisions are made and operations executed. The case of the attempted jail break which led to the dead of no fewer than 21 Boko Haram detainees at the Department of State Security (DSS) Headquarters in Asokoro, a district of Abuja is a good example of failed intelligence. The increasing oil theft and vandalization of oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta is a proof of poor intelligence on the part of our security agents. The situation is deteriorating daily that those of us who are stakeholders in Nigeria’s security are beginning to wonder whether our advice and suggestions to improve the system is ever taken seriously.

The line separating national and corporate security management is so thin that it puts less pressure on efforts to adopt one to the other. In analyzing the ingredients of grassroots intelligence system (GIS) at the corporate level, it is the conviction of Osaro Ollorwi that managers of security at both national and corporate levels will benefit thereof. He pointed out that ignoring grassroots components of the social system exerts significant influence on strategic security management initiatives, resulting in escalating insecurity in all parts of the country. He stressed that there is urgent need for corporate bodies operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria to establish, enlarge, train, equip and mobilize members of their Intelligence Units attached to Security Department or Division to penetrate hostile communities, identify key sources of information, and harness the appropriate intelligence information for effective security management and administration.

We are aware that increasing awareness and agitation for better oil company and host community relations have made the task of security management in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy more complex in recent times. Any approach short of a comprehensive Grassroots Intelligence-based strategy will settle for sub-optimum results. Playing the Ostrich will only worsen the already bad security situation in the country. Let us go back to the grassroots. It is simple, it is real, it generates the best of intelligence information.

Industrial security generally refers to measures designed to protect a company’s assets (tangible and intangible) and ensuring the protection of staff and customers interacting within the organization and its environment. Unlike in government, it is difficult to evaluate the environment of a particular company to determine if relative security has been achieved. Security is thus intended to reduce the possibility of detrimental incidents, and not necessarily to eliminate risks. Security then, is not static but dynamic as it depicts a state or condition that fluctuates in a continuum. As environment and human conditions change, so also does the logistics of protection. It is this phenomenal nature that makes security, within the context of productive business, highly complex. The sophistication is even more when the company is operating in a volatile multi-cultural environment like the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

It is in this light that companies operating in the Niger Delta region need to urgently reexamine their industrial security policy and strategy in relation to their main stream business operations. With respect to oil exploration and exploitation, most security agencies merely boast of peripheral security frameworks that do not adequately cover the entire business operations security-wise. The perennial crisis, intermittent fragile peace (uneasy calm) characteristic of the environment of most oil companies in the Niger Delta necessitate the urgent need for the establishment, enlargement, training, equipping and motivation of members of the Intelligence Units attached to Security Departments or Divisions to penetrate hostile communities, identify key sources of information, harness the appropriate intelligence information for effective security management and administration.

The gathering of these elements at the grassroots level and building a system of extracting relevant information that has intelligence values from them is the thrust of what is aptly described as Grassroots Intelligence System (GIS). These elements represent those vital intelligence sources that really do exist but are often ignored because of their apparent “commonness”. Their nature portrays them as insignificant and therefore, of little or no value to strategic intelligence services’ administration. The status quo in question underscores the efforts to evolve a system that will cater for both the proactive and reactive security management system. This process is known as known as Grassroots Intelligence System builds from downwards to upwards. It is directed at forestalling the usual fire brigade approach to handling matters of strategic security and intelligence, particularly in the corporate environments.

Grassroots Intelligence is about the collection of information on a whole gamut of diverse issues. This collection must be selective if the efforts would serve any meaningful purpose. For an effective and result-oriented grassroots intelligence system which the corporate intelligence security can put in place to achieve meaningful results in host communities and other purpose, there must be a comprehensive systematic data collection scheme which should indicate the types and location of sources, informants, agents, and agencies to be used. With this plan, the priorities are defined according to the relative importance of the problems and threats faced by an organization.

Consequently, grassroots intelligence sources and agencies are employed with a view to:

  1. Detecting signs of the existence of clandestine activities in an area, which are inimical to growth of the company’s operations.
  2. Identifying persons of security interests and keep track on their activities.
  3. Penetrating and controlling suspects, their organizations and aims.
  4. Recognizing adversaries’ decision process, their targeting and attacking techniques.
  5. Making enquiries for the purpose of gathering information in aid of development of new sources.
  6. Assessing activities and progress of informants in order to determine or identify double agents who exploit corporate organization vulnerabilities.
  7. Assisting in information gathering for operatives as well as intelligence research concerns.

Technically, a Grassroots Intelligence System build-up is expected to make specifications of the following community perspectives:

  • Geographical and historical dimensions,
  • Population and active persons,
  • Administration including services and institutes,
  • Charity organizations and philanthropic individuals,
  • National and political organizations,
  • Past subversive, sabotage and criminal activities in the vicinities,
  • Critical predictions.

Let us deal with these specifications briefly, beginning with the geographical perspective.

The geographical specification usually addresses such crucial issues as:

  1. Particular location of host community.
  2. Main boundaries, with respect to rivers, mountains, hills, valleys fence, and open land.
  3. Topographic terrain of the area, relative to high, low, forest deserts, rivers, etc.
  4. Partitioning with respect to districts, villages, streets, and commercial/residential layout.
  5. Types of buildings found such as huts, tents, mansions, and others.

The historical specification addresses history of the area under scrutiny, which is of paramount importance in the build-up of the Grassroots Intelligence System. Under this section, the essential information has to do with the origin of the oil, gas or other natural resources settlement. Town or Local Government Area, occupants of the area, – place where the occupants migrated from; biological connections with other settlements outside the area, the extent of these connections (closeness or otherwise), and government recognition of the residents as real owners of the land or as mere settlers.

In terms of population and active persons, it is important to know the number of inhabitants of the area in order to help the company determine the type of developmental projects or infrastructure to be sited.

However, the actual in diligence need is not essentially a bout ascertaining this index. To cover an area effectively, it is strongly advised that the area be divided into several interest groups or sub-sections such as:

  • Ethnic groupings
  • Religious groupings
  • Age groupings
  • Political groupings
  • Economic groupings
  • Cultural groupings
  • Environmental groupings, amongst others.

Security intelligence will become more effective with the knowledge of the population of these sub-groups in relation to others and to the total population of the area.

In addition to the population, the following should also be identified within each sub-group or section:

  1. Leaders of each sub-section.
  2. Most important/influential personalities in each sub-section and the reasons why they are adjudged important.
  3. Relationship between sub-section, whether there are previous/existing wars, land disputes/tensions, or harmony/cordiality amongst them. Identify all the elements of hate and love and those possibly spearheading each.

Other vital characteristics of this sub-section include lifestyles, major occupants, dominant religious inclinations, marriage system, and commercial relationships.

Apart from leaders of the various sub-sections, every other person who in one way or another is capable of influencing any part or whole of the sub-sections need to be identified and placed under surveillance. In certain areas, these last, (but not the least) categories comprise the following:

  • Heads of Schools
  • Religious leaders
  • Business leaders
  • Community leaders
  • Youth leaders
  • Women leaders
  • Traditional leaders
  • Political leaders
  • Pressure group leaders
  • Labour leaders
  • Opinion leaders

Efforts must be made to specifically oversee their activities within the sub-section.

The administrative specification comprises services and institutes that make up the social system. The major components of this bit touch on education, health, religion, transport, water, electricity, charity, communication, commerce, centres of attractions, unions, associations, and so on.

The perspectives of educational system to be considered are:

  1. Total number/names of educational institutions in the area, especially Secondary Schools, Universities, Polytechnics and other Tertiary Institutions.
  2. Comprehensive list and total population of all students in these institutions, which should be updated annually.
  3. List of teachers, noting their levels of influence on the students.
  4. List of students’ associations in each of the institutions.
  5. List of academic and non-academic staff associations and their executives in the institutions

If there are students from the area studying elsewhere, their personal data should equally be on record. This would provide an opportunity to keep track on them in case they return to make trouble or try to provoke sympathy actions and reactions wherever they may be. Their places of study should also be noted, as well as those engaged in part-time programmes.

The health system has to do with hospitals and medical centres both private and public, existing doctors and nurses, and other paramedical personnel in the area; influential traditional medicine practitioners, and health insurance schemes, if any.

There is also the religious system which focuses on prevalent religions, principal officers of each religion, outreach associations including those set up on charity grounds, major sects having extremists, government-sectarian relations (noting especially the anti-government types), inter-sectarian relations, number of clashes in the past and the immediate and remote causes.

The means of transportation within an area as well as other parts of the region are of vital considerations. It is also important to consider the sources of water supply in the community, the providers of the amenities (is it the Federal, State, or Local Governments?). In some instances, the inhabitants’ sources of water are private ownership of bore-holes or possibly fetching drinking water from untreated and unsafe sources such as unclean streams or ponds must be examined vis-à-vis the internal anger it generates within the society, especially amongst women and children, and how this translate into violence in the area and disrupts economic operations.

As it is the case with potable water, data on electricity is of utmost relevance in Grassroots Intelligence System analysis. The critical questions include:

  1. Is the community linked to the national grid?
  2. Is the operating company or any other agency supplying the community electricity?
  3. Is electricity supply selective or comprehensive, covering the entire community?

In identifying available philanthropic organizations in the area, it is necessary to recognize their sponsors, which in most cases include governments, Non-Governmental Organizations, and private individual. The charity presentations may include money, projects, training, food, medicaments, scholarships, and others. The motive behind the charity, its donations, the movements of these funds, its custody and end use constitute security interest. Evidence abounds that some charities and zakats are used to fund terrorism and drugs trafficking, strengthen loyalty to the patron, and to back the patron’s radical ideology.

Concerning communication, data could be generated by addressing crucial questions like:

  • Are there telephone facilities linking the community with outside communities?
  • Are there radio communication systems?
  • Are there other intercom media amongst community leaders? The impacts of GSM in information acquisition and dissemination within the area are also of security significance and must be incorporated into the grassroots intelligence system.

The centres of attraction also to be considered comprise public libraries, parks, gardens, cinema, sport/social clubs, and hotels (with accommodation facilities and those for catering only, alongside the rates chargeable). There may be some hotels patronized by prostitutes, which could serve as haven for criminals that should also be well noted. Some hotels may also be very popular for their conference halls facilities. The relationship between the owner of such private facilities and law enforcement agents is equally of security relevance.

For the unions and associations in the community, focus should be on pressure groups operating in the area, Community Development Committees, Community Based Organizations, Youths/Women Organizations, Clandestine Groups (Secret Cults, Area Boys, etc.), Social Clubs, Progressive Unions, and allied fraternities. Branches of unions and associations whose parents body exist outside the area which are either within or outside the country, leaders and prominent members of these unions and associations and their activities as well as places of gathering and meetings, and whether any of the unions and associations is operating illegally, should be identified and placed under surveillance and other security monitoring.

The economic perspectives in its own respect focuses on the main occupation of the people, their profession and places of engagement, existing stores and supermarkets and their owners (specifying their types and items dealt with), activities of employment agencies in creating jobs and expanding existing ones, labour union and their leaders, availability of markets and motor parks, and banks/insurance companies, as well as effectiveness of poverty alleviation programmes.

A community may also be playing host to some international, national and political organizations. Identities of their leaders should be known (whether they are charity or profit-oriented), and their movements and activities monitored for security reasons including acting as agents of terrorism funding.

Other concerns in this direction are number of registered political parties in active in the area and their leaders; the party in power in the local Government Area where the community is located, names of political office holders from the are at all levels of government, popularity of the party in the area and its followership, influential political party elders, and existence of notorious political party thugs in the community.

Alongside these are considerations of various forms of security threats and breaches, whose data have to do with:

  1. Nature of subversion in the past.
  2. Nature of on-going subversion, espionage activities, terrorism, etc.
  3. Prevalent criminal activities and pattern of violent crimes.
  4. Identified culprits, known ex-convicts, and juvenile delinquents.
  5. Rehabilitation programmes available in liaison with police and prison authorities and other voluntary agencies.