19 June 2014, Abuja – The federal government yesterday revealed plans by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, to plant Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) in petrol trucks and drive them to crowded places in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with the aim of wreaking maximum havoc on the city.
Coordinator if the National Briefing Centre on Terrorism and Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, stated that intelligence reports available to the government indicated that the insurgents planned to hijack petrol tankers and thereby placed the Petrol Tankers Association on red alert.
“The Nigerian security services have received intelligence reports to the effect that insurgents intend seizing petrol tankers and plant IEDs in the tankers and drive them to crowded places in Abuja.
“Against this backdrop, we hereby call on the Petrol Tankers Association to be on red alert and advise their members to report any attempt or the seizure of their vehicles to security agencies,” he said.
He also urged residents to report any broken down tanker in any part of the territory to the security agencies.
“Nigerians are also advised to report any broken down tanker in any part of the territory. We are using this opportunity to appeal to the public to be on the alert particularly when they see any tanker driving dangerously,” he stated.
Speaking on the screening of the 486 travellers arrested in Abia State, Omeri said none of them had more than N1,000 on them in transit, adding that some of them could not even mention their destination.
The government appealed to the public for understanding in the matter, said the operation was not targeted at any group or persons in the society.
“It must be made clear and understood that the exercise was not targeted at any group of persons or individual, but aimed at general security of the country. For instance, during the process of interrogation, the main kingpin who has been profiled by DSS in 2007 was identified which led to further questioning,” he added.
Omeri, who commiserated with the families of those who were killed in the bombing attack at the World Cup viewing centre in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, said the owners of viewing centres and indeed state governments should take extra measures to secure Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of State Security (DSS) has denied media reports that some politicians were arrested over the handling of ballot papers ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State.
“The service has not seen or apprehended anyone with ballot papers, politicians are hereby cautioned against dishing out false information through the media with a view to overheating the system,” Omeri said.
– This Day