Lagos state government is bracing up for the eventuality of terror attacks in the state, TheCable understands.
Doctors at all government-owned hospitals have been receiving training on “basic emergency response” in the event of attacks which are no longer considered “impossible” following security warnings.
Essential medical materials and medications have been distributed to all the government-owned hospitals while the state has also been increasing its blood storage and buying more ambulances for emergencies.
Medical directors, according to sources who spoke with TheCable, have been holding regular meetings with the state government.
Governor Babatunde Fashola has been meeting with community leaders to alert them to be vigilant, and has made the hot lines of top security chiefs available to them.
They are being given tips on what to watch out for and how to handle any suspicious movements and activities in their areas.
“It is not an entirely new move by the governor, but it has become paramount with the recent blast in Apapa,” a government official said.
The cause of the June 25 blast in Apapa ─ which killed three persons ─ has been muted, supposedly to prevent general panic, but top government officials have privately admitted that it was an attack carried out by a female suicide bomber.
TheCable learnt that security operatives had for a while been deployed in the Apapa area on surveillance, but the blast caught them by surprise.
There are many tank farms in Apapa storing millions of litres of petrol and the consequences of a successful terror attack on one depot “are unimaginable”, said the official, who confirmed that security has now been “tightened” around critical infrastructure in the state.
Although Boko Haram has been operating only in northern Nigeria, latest security reports indicate that their foot soldiers have infiltrated the south.
Hundreds of travellers have been arrested in the south-east in recent times after they were unable to state their mission or destination upon interrogation.
The most publicised operation was the arrest of 486 suspects in Abia. They were travelling in a convoy of 35 buses in the middle of the night when soldiers stopped them.
According to reports, two of the buses escaped while the arrested passengers did not know where they were going.
Prominent northerners accused the military of ethnic profiling, but the authorities later announced that a “notorious terror kingpin” had been identified among those arrested while 144 had been released.