Residents of Abuja and its environs woke up Tuesday to see stern looking security operatives all over the city, conducting serious screening of both human and vehicles along the major streets of the nation's capital. This was aimed at warding off any terrorist attacks on people who were supposed to be celebrating the 53rd independent anniversary.
Security agencies including the police, State Security Service (SSS) personnel, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the army were seen at strategic locations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
An Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) manned by soldiers and policemen, was stationed at Nyanya, a gateway to the FCT.
The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, had earlier placed all policemen on red alert against the backdrop of intelligence report that terrorist elements may strike during the one-day national holiday.
Motorists, who expected to have a free drive on Abuja roads were surprised by security personnel, who mounted checkpoints at random locations and searched passing vehicles and their occupants.
Residents who went to Jabi Motor Park for an early morning trip out of the FCT were jolted by the detachment of security personnel who searched intending travellers and vehicles entering and leaving the park.
When THISDAY went around the city, it was observed that armed security personnel at major areas in Abuja including Area One roundabout, Julius Berger Junction, Olu Obasanjo Way, Zone 4, among other places.
The Eagle Square, which used to host national ceremonies looked desolate and forlorn because activities marking the Independence Day celebration including the usual military parade, held inside the Presidential Villa.