DSS warns of attacks on worship centres, relaxation joints, infrastructure

A major security threat has been uncovered by the Department of State Service (DSS).

The secret service said yesterday that criminal elements are planning to bomb targets in parts of the country.

The latest plot, according to its despatch, is targeted at worship and relaxation centres as well as critical infrastructure.

Also yesterday, security threat forced the police to shut down the popular ‘mammy market’, a relaxation spot in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.

Following recent attacks by Boko Haram, operators of other relaxation spots, including bars, in the Jerusalem area of the city, are on self-imposed breaks.

President Muhammadu Buhari urged political leaders to support efforts to end insecurity.

He spoke during an iftar with political leaders.

Spokesman for the Service, Dr Peter Afunanya, in a statement, said: “The DSS hereby draws public attention to plans by criminal elements to return the country to the pre-2015 era reminiscent of IED(Improvised Explosive Devices) attacks on soft and hard targets in parts of the country.

“Though there are already reported cases of such incidents in some areas, the service has uncovered a plot 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, such as worship and relaxation centres, especially during and after the holidays and festive celebrations.

“The objective is to achieve some self-serving interests as well as cause fear among the citizenry. The service, however, recalls its earlier warning that some groups and individuals were plotting to stoke violence in the country.

“Following these, patrons, owners and managers of aforementioned public places are advised to be wary of this development and implement basic security measures to deter the threats.

“While the service is committed to the disruption of this trend and pattern of violent attacks, it will continue to partner other security agencies to ensure that necessary drills are emplaced in order that public peace and order are not jeopardised.

“To this end, residents are enjoined to go about their lawful businesses and share, with security and law enforcement agencies, useful information on activities of criminals.”

Our correspondent, who visited the Police ‘mammy market’, noticed that all the shops were locked.

The State Police Spokesman, Dungus Abdulkareem, said that “the Police do not want to be embarrassed or caught unaware by terrorists.

“With what happened at Geidam and Gashua, it is expedient on us to act proactively by closing down the Area Command ‘mammy’ market until further notice.

“The police and security agencies are also collaborating with other places to ensure adequate protection of people and property.”

A security source who spoke in confidence said the market will remain shut throughout the Sallah period and after until adequate security measures were put in place.

Boko Haram a week ago, killed 12 people at a drinking spot in Giedam town. A few days after, the group launched a bomb attack at another drinking spot in Gashua, home of the Senate president, Dr Ahmed Lawan. One person lost his life while seven were injured.

<<The Nation>>