The Nation

Terror alert: We need prayers from US — not confusion, says defence minister

BY Samuel Akpan

Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, says the federal government will ensure that terror alerts from other countries are shared with security agencies before they get to the public. 

The minister said this on Tuesday when he appeared before the house of representatives committee to defend the ministry’s 2023 budget.

There have been increased worries over the past week following the travel warnings issued by some foreign countries over possible terrorist attacks in some areas of the country, especially in the federal capital territory (FCT).

The United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) had warned of possible terror attacks in Nigeria and also evacuated its non-essential staff from the country.


Magashi said the security council is not treating the terror alert with levity.

He said what Nigeria needs is prayer, not alerts that create confusion among citizens.

“If you remember, yesterday, the security council met and we discussed this threat and it was believed that we will not take it lightly,” he said.


“We tried to verify the source of the threat or the pronouncement made by the US government. We tried to identify countries that were also interested in the same remarks made by the US government and we are of the opinion that the best way to go about it is to continue and where possible beef up security in Abuja and its contagious states, that is Nassarawa, Niger and the rest of them.

“However, we believe that there is no smoke without fire and in that regard, we were able to subject the details to our intelligence organisations and they have provided answers to those areas in which the government is in doubt. We realised that what we need is to be extra vigilant to prevent any activity of the bandits from where the threat is likely and we will be able to provide enough forces that can neutralise those kinds of situations.

“I want to assure members that the government is on top of the situation. Based on our security meeting and what we have on the ground, I think what we need is prayers from the United States, not giving us information that will make our citizens be either confused or not able to take appropriate action. Our minister of foreign affairs is taking that up to ensure that information of such nature is brought to the notice of the ministry before disseminating to the society.”

The minister added that security agencies are working to ensure peace is maintained in the country.


“I think we are on top of the situation. The threat is not very dire and we are not taking it lightly. We are doing all we can to ensure that peace and progress of Nigeria are maintained,” he said.

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