The Unrest in the Federal Capital Territory, triggered by terror alerts from the United States and the United Kingdom, has started affecting businesses in the capital city. Sunday Punch Learned on Saturday.
Despite repeated assurances by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd.), and various security agencies that there is no need to fear and that people should go about their business without fear, many residents of Abuja seem to be staying away. Large gatherings, shopping malls and entertainment venues in response to warnings.
Our correspondents who visited various parts of the city noted that there were few vehicles on some main roads and few people at some gardens and recreation centers.
The normally busy Lokogoma Road has less motorists, commuters and pedestrians, as do the Berger, Voos and Gwarimpa areas of the city.
Also, activity at Shoprite Mall, Apo and Nowhere Center in Wus was hectic with fewer buyers than usual on Saturday. The situation is no different in many other shopping malls visited by our correspondents.
Attendants at the malls told our correspondents that since the terror alert was announced, the reception and sales have gone down.
A sales attendant at the Nowhere Center, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that despite the welcome they have had, only a few customers have come to the mall in the past few days due to the terror alert.
Another attendant at Shoprite Mall, Apo, noted that her boss was considering closing the store due to low sales. But this has nothing to do with the cost of running stores without related sales or promotion.
A shopper at Shoprite, Lugbe, who gave her name only as Betty, said the turnout was low compared to last week.
She said, “The mall is dry today. If you were here last week, you will easily know the difference. People sometimes come outside to take photos but today they are very few. Also, people used to queue to buy bread in the mall, but today there was no queue. I also noticed that there were very few people at the crowded payment point.
One of our correspondents also visited the Tiger Bar in Lugbe and the famous Magicland Amusement Park where there were only a few fun-seekers.
Meanwhile, National Children’s Park and Zoo director Aminu Muhammed said the park closed at 6:30pm to ensure visitors were searched and everyone left “in good time”.
He stated, “We ensure that everyone who enters is thoroughly checked and if there is any suspicion, we report it immediately. You will notice that we have an army checkpoint before you come here, so we are constantly in the compound and close at 6:30pm in good time.
At Millennium Park, one of our correspondents observed two armed police and private security guards at the gate. A staff member explained that the park maintained its normal closing time of 6 p.m.
At Central Park, one of our correspondents saw five bouncers at the gate, all in tactical gear. One of them caught the dog while the other two scanned visitors and vehicles with electronic detectors.
Two armed policemen and other security personnel in tactical gear were stationed at different places in the park. Efforts to speak to the manager were futile as he declined comments insisting that he was busy.
JB shut down operations
On the other hand, Julius Berger, a construction firm, has shut down operations in the capital city.
In a statement Saturday, the company’s managing director and corporate security manager, Lars Bichter and Paul Nielsen, said the company instructed its staff to stay away from public premises over the weekend, adding that temporary relocation to other sites could be considered.
The statement added, “The FCT environment is advised to avoid all public events including supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, bars, clubs and other places where many people meet. This advisory is applicable from the evening of 28.10.2022 to the morning of Monday, 31.10.2022.
“It is possible to travel to other JBN work or residential locations during the weekend. Your safety is our primary concern. ”
Julius Berger was the second person to close his operations after the terror alert.
Military Mounted Checkposts
Following the warnings, Sunday Punch It was observed that the army has set up checkpoints in several areas including Wumba and Kabusa Junction in Lokogoma District.
This is in addition to ongoing counterintelligence operations by the troops, the police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and the Department of State Services and other intelligence agencies.
Our representatives also observed police presence in Wuse, Gwarimpa, Kubwa, Apo and Berger areas of Abuja.
Speaking on the heightened security, the FCT police spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, said it was a move to boost the morale of residents. She insisted there was no cause for alarm.
She stated, “There is no cause for alarm in the FCT. Even before we always had our patrols, patrols by our men have increased to build the confidence of the residents. We urge residents to go about their legitimate business in peace.
‘Explosives report false’
Meanwhile, the Force Headquarters has described false reports that bombs have been planted across the FCT.
In a statement on Saturday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, cautioned against spreading the report, saying, “I do not think the continuous spreading of such rumors to create more fear among citizens and residents will do our country any good. FCT and Nigeria are big.
“We reiterate that the Federal Capital Territory is safe and there is no imminent threat, and the FCT is not riddled with bombs as has been speculated in the news. Therefore, we urge residents of the FCT and Nigerians to ignore this fake news that is meant to create fear among our people and heat up politics.
“We will continue to adopt all effective operational strategies to eradicate the activities of non-state actors and other criminal elements in the country.”
Meanwhile, a civil society organization, Unity Advocacy Group, expressed confidence on Saturday that the armed forces and other security agencies would respond adequately to the terror alerts issued by the US and the UK.
In a statement, UAG convener Ifeni Aigbedian said that the country’s enemies will lose the war.
Taiwan has warned its citizens
Taiwan’s government has warned its citizens not to travel to Abuja and Sandton in South Africa following terror warnings issued by the United States and some other Western countries.
Focus Taiwan, a news agency of the Republic of China and an influential news outlet in Taiwan, reported on Saturday, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday warned Taiwanese citizens not to travel to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, and Sandton, the financial center of Johannesburg. Terrorism alerts issued by the United States and some other Western countries.
“The ministry has also directed Taiwan’s representative offices in Nigeria and South Africa to alert Taiwanese living in those countries of the possibility of terrorist attacks so that they avoid traveling to the targeted areas,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The US, UK, Canada, Australia and some European countries in Abuja Nigeria has issued a security advisory to its citizens due to the “threat of terrorist attack”.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar, said drones and helicopters from Turkey would soon arrive in Nigeria as part of efforts to strengthen the security structure.
Turkish is one of the countries with the best drones, as some of their products were in use during the Russia-Ukraine war.
NAN reports that Bayraktar spoke at the 99th National Day commemoration of the Republic of Turkey in Abuja on Friday, where he described Turkey’s security support to Nigeria as part of the gains from the defense cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in 2021.
Bairaktar said, “The defense agreements signed between our countries last year marked a historical record. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I am proud to announce that two of our flagship defense industry platforms, the Bi-Rector (TB-2) drones and the (T-149) ATAK helicopters, are about to arrive in Nigeria.
“We are confident that the new Turkish defense products will support the efforts of the Nigerian government and contribute greatly to the peace, prosperity and security of fellow Nigerians.”
Bayraktar said the Turkish government expects the Nigerian government to respond to its legitimate security concerns by taking necessary measures against the “strong presence of the FETO terrorist group in Nigeria”.
“The only obstacle that remains to further develop our bilateral relations is that we urge Nigeria not to damage our excellent relations by allowing this terrorist group to generate income in this country to fund their illicit objectives and activities,” he said. added
Bayraktar said the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Nigeria in 2022 will be boosted by mutual high-level visits by President Recep Erdogan in October 2021 and Buhari in December 2021.
He said that at the current pace with increasing trade relations, he believes that Turkey will soon achieve the target of $5 billion bilateral trade volume with Nigeria, one of the top trade partners in Sub-Saharan African.
“These mutual high-level visits provided an opportunity to emphasize our shared objective of strengthening our bilateral relations in every sector, especially in terms of trade, defense industry, energy, construction, manufacturing healthcare, education, tourism and culture,” he said. .
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb Zubairu Dada, has confirmed that Nigeria and Turkey have boosted trade and bilateral relations since the two presidents’ high-level visits in 2021.