The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has warned all members of its staff and the general public in Nigeria about terrorists and bandits infiltrating the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and surrounding areas with the intent of kidnapping people for ransom.
The West African regional bloc announced this in an Urgent Security Advisory dated July 27, 2022, as part of an Immediate Security Advisory (ISA) sent to all of its personnel.
“This immediate Security Advisory is being sent to all ECOWAS Staff in order to comply with the current state of insecurity that has recently swept across the country.”
“Intelligence reports warned of a plan by undesirable elements to infiltrate various parts of the country, particularly state capitals including the FCT, with the intent of perpetrating crimes such as abductions and kidnappings for ransom, or as a means of recruiting recruits for terrorists’ activities,” the statement said.
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As a result, ECOWAS warned its employees to be environmentally conscious on their routes and to avoid late-night outings.
Kidnappings and killings have increased in Nigeria, with terrorists and bandits reported to be in Abuja and its environs, ready to strike at innocent Nigerians and foreigners alike.
On July 5, members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) launched an attack on Abuja’s Kuje Correctional Centre, releasing hundreds of inmates, including more than 60 Boko Haram members.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s advanced security team was also attacked while on its way to Daura for Eid celebrations. These tragic events were quickly followed by an attack on the brigade of guards, an elite army unit, on Tuesday, in which a captain and scores of soldiers were allegedly killed.
The security agencies’ response to these multiple attacks appeared to be feeble, fueling fears about the forces’ inability to protect themselves, let alone civilians.