By Tunde Oguntola |
Against the backdrop of the current spate of kidnappings, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has decried the heightened insecurity sweeping across Nigeria lately, warning its staff to be wary of unusual activities around them.
The commission said intelligence reports had warned of plans by undesirable elements to infiltrate various parts of the country, particularly State capitals, including the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, with the view to perpetrate crimes such as abductions and kidnappings for ransom, or as means of getting recruits for terrorist activities.
An ECOWAS internal memo obtained by LEADERSHIP signed by the commissioner for General Administration and Conference, Vafolay Tulay, warned staffers of the commission to be extra careful as they go about their daily activities in the country.
Tulay urged them to maintain environmental awareness on their route to, and from work and watch out for anything abnormal around their surroundings and report
He also urged all staff to limit social engagements as much as possible and avoid going out at night.
“Avoid public drinking places and restaurants, especially after working hours.
“Limit your travels in-country as much as possible, whether by road or by air and keep to the main roads. Avoid using deserted/lonely routes and dark alleys.
“Avoid routes where rallies or any form of mass gatherings are taking place. Be extra careful when using a rented vehicle and van.
“Take appropriate security measures when approaching a checkpoint. Be
prepared to take anti-ambush/counter surveillance measures always; and be vigilant at places of worship, markets, motor parks, filling stations and
shopping malls,” he said.
He also urged staff to avoid circulating unverified security-related materials on social media platforms in order not to raise unnecessary alarm.