This Day (Lagos)

7 September 2012

Nigeria: Security Operatives Deployed to Telecoms Facilities

Photo: Vanguard
Bombing continues as citizens advocate for talks with Boko Haram

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has ordered a 24-hour surveillance of all telecommunications equipment and installations across the country.

This order, in a release signed by the police spokesman, Frank Mba, is sequel to the attacks carried out on some telecoms companies' facilities in some parts of the North where they have become vulnerable and targets.

The IGP also directed all state Commissioners of Police to constitute a Special Unit in their respective commands, with primary assignment of ensuring the safety of telecom equipment and installations within their areas of jurisdiction.

The CPs are to further ensure that Area Commanders and DPOs in their commands replicate the constitution of such Special Units in their respective areas, to protect installations located within their territories.

The state Commissioners of Police were further directed to ensure that personnel of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) and Counter-Terrorism Squads in their commands are constructively involved in this crucial assignment.

The zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) have also been directed to supervise the activities all such units constituted by Commissioners of Police to ensure strict compliance with the directives of the IG.

They are to constitute similar units that will assist state commands within their zones. AIGs and CPs are to provide dedicated lines in their respective commands, to enable public spirited Nigerians who may have useful information to volunteer same to the police.

While assuring the public that the police will do everything within its power to arrest this emerging security trend, the IG appealed to members of the public to assist the Force with vital information pertaining to the activities of these hoodlums.

He particularly enjoined traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leader and parents to keep watchful eyes on their environment and to report any strange movement to the local police authority.

Meanwhile, the military and security high commands have described the attacks on telecoms facilities and offices as misplaced and uninformed.

They advised the Boko Haram sect to look inwards for their recent losses and woes instead of blaming it on the telecoms companies.

A Joint Task Force (JTF) source said "how can the Boko Haram say the telecoms companies are aiding the security agents to arrest their members and scuttle their plans when a lot of their members are tired and disgruntled.

"When they kill some members, do they expect the associates of those killed to be happy. Did they register their SIMs as Boko Haram members," the source asked.

"Some communities are tired of their excesses. A lot of their members are tired and willing to leave. They are willingly working for security agents and we have assured them of their confidentiality and safety," the source added.

The source added: "They don't think, if they destroy the masts and offices, how will they communicate to carry out their devilish acts? In recent times, they don't believe what has hit them."

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InFocus

Boko Haram Speaks on Nigeria's Phone Mast Attacks

Bombing continues as citizens advocate for talks with Boko Haram

The group say it will continue attacking telecommunication facilities because they are assisting the government and security agencies in tracking and arresting its members. Read more »