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Police debunk reports of planned terror attacks in FCT

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THE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command on Thursday debunked reports of planned terror attacks in Abuja.

A ‘Security alert’ posted across various social media handles had warned of imminent terrorist attacks in the FCT.

Reacting to the development in a statement, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Command Josephine Adeh  noted that the reports were erroneous and misleading.

“The attention of the Federal Capital Territory Police (FCT) Command has been drawn to a series of misleading write-ups tagged “security alert” in circulation on the popular social media platform WhatsApp and many others, suggesting an ongoing plan and coordination of a terrorist attack on some areas, social, and critical infrastructures in the FCT.

“The erroneous news is a product of misguided and attention-seeking individuals, targeted at promoting panic and apprehension in the minds of residents,” the statement said.

The FCT police spokesperson added that security officials had been deployed to mountains and hills within the FCT recently, and hunting activities had been mistaken for terror attacks.

She added that the police command in collaboration with traditional rulers have suspended hunting activities in some areas of the FCT to reassure residents.

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“While critically investigating the assertion with a view to ascertain its root cause and validity, It has been discovered that hunting activities have been one of the misinterpreted activities on the hills and mountains in some of the areas so mentioned.

“Therefore, the Police in collaboration with traditional authorities of these areas have suspended such activities in a bid to douse public apprehension.”

Adeh further observed that the heavy deployment of security personnel by the Command and other security agencies might have been mistaken for terror activities.

About two weeks ago, the Nigeria Security and Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the FCT had warned that members of the Islamic States in West Africa Province (ISWAP) were planning attacks on certain areas of the FCT.

The NSCDC warned that security formations, schools and places of worship were targets of the ISWAP and some select towns.

However, an anonymous warning which appeared online a few days later stated that there was an influx of people around Karshi Hills and Orozo, adding that some persons had been spotted ascending and descending certain hills in the area, which made residents suspicious of terrorist camps being built.

The Defence Headquarters earlier this week had also allayed fears of impending terror attacks in the FCT, reassuring residents that security agencies were ready to contain any attack.

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org or @ije_le on Twitter.

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