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News > Nigeria

Nigeria Issues Alert on Explosive Attacks amid Security Crisis

  • Tanker explodes at Lagos-Ibadan expressway, April 23, 2022.

    Tanker explodes at Lagos-Ibadan expressway, April 23, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @TheWhistlerNG

Published 26 April 2022

Over the last months, Nigeria has been plagued by kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, and piracy. The explosive attacks occur as the general election approaches.

On Tuesday, Nigeria's Department of State Services (DSS) issued an alert on explosive attacks by suspected criminal gangs. Intelligence reports show criminal elements aimed to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attacks on soft and hard targets in parts of the country.


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"Though there are already reported cases of such incidents in some areas, the service has uncovered a ploy by suspected criminal gangs to forge an alliance among themselves with a view to launching further attacks on critical infrastructure and other frequented public places like worship and relaxation centers, especially during and after the holidays and festive celebrations," the DSS said.

For many months now, Nigeria has been beset by a series of insecurity cases, including kidnapping, terrorism, banditry and piracy. Local security expert Julius Adebayo said that it "has almost become a tradition that attacks upon attacks occur when Nigerian general elections are approaching." 

Last week, the Nigerian government said it has opted for gathering "human intelligence" as a new means of responding to the myriad of security challenges bedeviling the country.
According to the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, this measure was chosen following a critical review of the prevailing situation during a security council summit, the first to be presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari this year.

To address the security crisis head-on, the recent security meeting called for "a collective effort by all, and not just those charged with the responsibility of physically securing the country," Monguno told reporters in Abuja after the security council meeting, with heads of all the security organizations in the country and other top government functionaries attending.

"The most important thing, for now, is the acquisition of intelligence. Unless the wider society, right down to the local governments, are willing to give the type of information that is needed to block the activities of these criminals, this situation will continue to linger beyond whatever timeframe we are looking at," the NSA said.

On March 28, a passenger train en route to Kaduna from Abuja was attacked by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Rijana, a town in Kaduna. The terrorists had planted explosive devices along the rail track, and when the Abuja-Kaduna bound train approached the point, the device exploded, causing the train to derail.

On March 29 eight passengers were killed and 26 others sustained injuries in the attack, adding that investigations were still ongoing to ascertain the status of the passengers who were riding the train and remain unaccounted for. 

Following the incident, President Buhari directed all the operational and intelligence elements to rescue the abducted victims immediately and unhurt. He also charged the security agencies to rescue those that are in captivity across the country.

Earlier in the year, the government launched the implementation of the community policing initiative, which has so far led to the training of 25,000 constabularies in several police colleges across the country.

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