Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, has berated the foreign missions in Nigeria for creating an unnecessary security panic in the country by their unnecessary “terror alerts” over the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Addressing State House correspondents immediately after an emergency National Security Council meeting summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Abuja on Monday, Monguno argued that neither the FCT nor any city in Nigeria is currently under any terror threat.
According to him: “From the time this alarm story came out until now, about a week to ten days, we can see that so far, the situation has been brought under control.
“The issue of Nigerians being made to panic is unnecessary, the situation in various areas, in the federal capital territory, the situation has been brought under control and we are trying as much as possible to work with our neighbours and within the domestic situation to work with our foreign partners in a responsible way without giving the impression that Nigeria is sitting on thin ice to explode.
“That has come to dispel any illusion about any sense of heightened insecurity. It is false, it is irresponsible for anybody to give that signal. We are working with our foreign partners in a responsible way and Nigerians should go back to their normal daily undertakings without being put in a situation of fear.”
Asked if arrests have been made since the terror alert was raised by foreign missions like the United States of America, and United Kingdom raised, Monguno said: “Yes, arrests have been made.
“You must remember that Nigeria has been engaged in at least the asymmetric conflicts, for quite a number of years. And the arrests I’m talking about are not necessarily in relation to the alerts that were issued by the US Embassy.
“These are in relation basically to ongoing operations being conducted by the Nigerian armed forces, intelligence and security agencies.
“I mentioned that just to allay the fears that these people, these organizations have continuously been on their toes, continuously engaged other entities, other groups, and this has resulted in arrests.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Nigeria has told the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geofrey Onyeama that it’s within their constitutional rights to regularly issue travel advisories to its citizens across the world.
Onyeama while briefing State House correspondents said: “Nigeria has been engaging the United States (US) on intelligence sharing. It’s been the norm for US to make such pronouncement.
“We engaged the US on this, and their response was that they are obliged to put out those kinds of statements, normally travel advisories.
“But in this case, it was an alert but they said that they were obliged to, for their citizens, and that the advice was really for their citizens, that they do it around the world, as they did it also in South Africa, in this particular case. They said for them, it’s a constitutional issue.”