The United States Embassy in Nigeria has issued an alert about likely attacks on expatriates and foreign visitors in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, during the three day public holidays declared by the federal government to mark the end of Ramadan.
The statement said: “The US Mission in Nigeria advises that groups associated with terrorist activity might be planning attacks against hotels in Lagos frequented by international visitors, including those located on waterfronts, during the Eid-el-Fitr holidays.”
Tuesday and Wednesday had been declared as public holidays in Nigeria but has been extended to Thursday as a result of the non-sighting of the moon meant to mark the traditional end of the Ramadan month.
The US warning, posted on the website of its embassy on Tuesday, did not mention a specific group but urged its citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates.
In a swift response to the warning by the US embassy, the Nigerian Police Lagos state command has assured Lagosians that adequate security measures have been put in place during and after the Eid-el-Fitri celebration.
This was disclosed by Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent and Spokesmanof the command on Tuesday.
“The Lagos State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that adequate and necessary security measures have been put in place during and after the Eid el-Fitri celebrations,” Badmos said.
“In furtherance to this, all Muslim faithful and indeed the general public are hereby assured of their safety.
“It is not out of place for the U.S. to issue such warnings to its nationals. It should not cause panic among residents because in the past weeks, security has been beefed up across the state to ensure a hitch-free holiday. The police, military and other security outfits are on alert.
“Furthermore, the command wishes to state that appropriate operational strategies have been devised to ensure a hitch-free Eid-el-Fitri celebration at all praying grounds, recreational centres, hotels and all other public places.”
The statement urged the public to report any suspicious movement to the police through the security numbers – the toll-free 767 or 121 – among others.