Heads of external intelligence agencies across the West African sub-region including Cameroun on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding pledging mutual assistance and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
At the one day meeting in Yaoundé, capital of Cameroun, which was geared towards achieving concerted efforts and strengthen alliance against terrorism, Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, represented Nigeria.
Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC) Mr. Mike Omeri who disclosed this on Wednesday at the briefing by members of the Centre also disclosed that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb Aminu Wali is currently in London to represent Nigeria at the follow-up meeting to the earlier one convened in Paris, France by French President François Hollandaise on how to combat terrorism in Nigeria.
The meeting is expected to further reinforce international synergy and build on the gains of Paris Summit also attended by the US, UN and other Nigeria’s neighbouring countries and decision are expected on how to actually strengthen the level of implementation of the various agreements so far reached on the fight against terror.
Omeri expressed dismay at the level of misuse to which some Nigerians have subjected the information telephone numbers released to the public to report suspicions about terrorism and criminal activities.
“We are worried over the level of false information being dished out by some members of the public that are using the telephone numbers to settle personal scores. We wish to advise that these numbers should be strictly used for ensuring security of all Nigerians”, the Director General of National Orientation Agency declared.
And as the World Cup kicks off on Thursday in Brazil, the Federal Government reiterated its advise to football enthusiasts to be extra vigilant and cautious of every movement of persons and any alien object around their vicinity during and after the tournament.
Spokesman for the Nigerian Police, Frank Mba, also at the briefing said that “owners of viewing centres are being advised to device ways of securing their centres. We expect such owners to establish synergy with local security agencies, which could be DSS, police or other security agencies. We expect them to have a working relationship including those who operate night clubs and pastors and imams are expected to have working relationships with their local security agencies.
“Secondly, individuals who want to visit viewing centre are expected to exercise a lot of caution and by being vigilant and we equally expect that owners of viewing centres to make a rule forbidden patrons from bringing bags into the centres. They should make rules requiring proper searching of individuals at a creating safe distance before entering their premises. Security agencies will continue to intensify security and enhance surveillance around viewing centres.
“Also, citizens that live around the viewing centres could also perform some patriotic roles. We discovered that most suicide bombers are strangers in areas they are trying to attack and that is reason why most often, they ask questions about directions especially if they are the ones driving themselves to the scene. And so, if people living around viewing centres begin to notice strange faces, they should alert the security agencies”.
On the issue of 20 Fulani women that were purportedly abducted near Chibok last weekend however, Omeri was unable to confirm or deny the development.
“We also read it in the media and we are in the process of confirming the report from government officials around that place and when we are able to establish the true situation, we will make the announcement”, Omeri clarified.
Pertaining to agency reports that the US Department of State was in the process of bankrolling a television station targeted at Northern Nigeria, Omeri said there were no indications from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to that effect.
“On the establishment of Arewa 24 by US State Department, we have made efforts to inquire from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and we were told that there was no request for such license pending with them.”