Consequently, NOA has advised schools, churches and mosques, among other usually crowded places, on the need to put measures in place to arrest any possible attack.
A statement released in Ado-Ekiti by the state Director of NOA, Mr. Dayo Famosaya, said the alarm had become necessary because of the need to be security conscious and watch out for strangers in their neighbourhood.
Famosaya, in the statement entitled Public information on security consciousness and awareness, said Boko Haram fighters may have infiltrated the South-western part of the country, going by the content of security agents reports.
He said: “They have threatened to deploy cluster bombs in the zone. These cluster bombs are usually housed in discarded metallic materials such as cans of beverages and soft drinks.
“The bombs may be concealed in bags and for it to have more grievous effect, they have planned to deploy these bombs in crowded places such as schools, markets, stadia, churches and mosques.”
It warned the public to watch out for people wearing flowing apparel, as it was the type of cloth they wear to hide their weapons.
There was security alert in September signed by Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in charge of Enforcement and Intelligence, Mr. Dan Ugo, on behalf of the Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), warning of planned terror attacks in Lagos seaports by Boko Haram.
The security alert had emanated from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), a development which has since resulted in an increase in the level of security checks at all access points into the ports.
Recently, the Department of State Services had arrested 45 suspected Boko Haram members in connection with a foiled attack on Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
“About 60 suspects were picked up from different locations in Lagos by the Department of State Services acting on intelligence information that they were planning to attack Dolphin Estate in Ikoyi last month (October),” said one source, referring to an upscale area of Lagos.
Sources, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said some of the suspects were released after preliminary investigations, while 45 others were taken to a magistrate court.
“They were arraigned on holding charges. The DSS urged the court to remand them in prison pending further investigation and their eventual arraignment before a high court,” a source had said.
Dolphin Estate is a gated community on the Ikoyi island, which is home to wealthy Nigerians as well as expatriate workers, many of them in the oil and gas industry.
Any attack on Lagos, which drives Nigeria’s economy and is seen by many foreign governments as a gateway to West Africa, would likely send shockwaves through both.
Lagos State Information Commissioner Steve Ayorinde had called for the public’s help in ensuring the safety of the megacity’s 20 million-strong population.
“Our appeal goes to every school, housing estates, religious houses, markets and shopping complexes, hotels and restaurants and sporting arenas to take issues of security and personal safety more seriously these days and to work with both the government and security agencies in promptly reporting any persons with suspicious activities or unusual gatherings that may compromise security,” he said.
“Care must also be taken in how domestic servants and house aides are also employed,” he added in a statement.
Boko Haram, which wants to carve out aN Islamic State in Nigeria’s North East, has threatened to move south to spread its six-year-old insurgency in the country.
The capital, Abuja, has been hit several times, most recently on October 2 when three suicide bombers killed 18 in two satellite towns — while Lagos was attacked last June.
In a video, Boko Haram’s leader, Sheik Abubakar Shekau, had threatened to hit Nigeria’s oil-producing south.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in May on a promise of crushing Boko Haram, has given his military commanders until the end of the year to bring the insurgency to an end.
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