Sallah holidays: DSS alleges plot to bomb worship, recreation centres

• CSOs petition U.S., UK over the delisting of Nigeria from the terrorism list

Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday, disclosed a plot by criminal elements to bomb worship and relaxation centres during and after the Sallah holidays.

A spokesperson for the secret agency, Peter Afunanya, in a statement, said there were already reported cases of such incidents in some areas.

He added that his organisation had uncovered a ploy by suspected criminal gangs to forge an alliance to launch further attacks on critical infrastructure.

His words: “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 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 with other security agencies to ensure that necessary drills are emplaced to ensure public peace and order are not jeopardised.”

IN a related development, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), under the aegis of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable (IRF), have questioned the rationale behind the recent removal of Nigeria from the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) regarding religious freedom by the United States government.

Consequently, the CSOs wrote the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, requesting a town hall meeting where victims of terrorism, banditry and general insecurity would tell their stories.

They argued that the CPC designation obligated the Nigerian government to be accountable to the global community, stressing that the ongoing violence in the Middle Belt and Northern Nigeria had lasted for over 20 years.

The rights groups deplored the seeming silence of the global community to the killings by Boko Haram/ISWAP/Ansaru, Fulani militants and bandits, wondering if there is no existence of international fighters in the whole scenario that had assumed an international problem.

Addressing journalists after submitting the letters to the two embassies, yesterday, in Abuja, an IRF representative, Olasumbo Ojomu, a legal practitioner, argued that “Nigeria till date is still a country of particular concern,” adding that Nigerians needed an answer to why the country was delisted by the United States authorities.

She said: “We the civil societies are here on behalf of people of the Middle Belt, people of the North, who are victims of terrorism, banditry and general insecurity to seek audience with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and British High Commissioner. We want them to organise a roundtable where victims of terrorism and banditry can tell their stories and air their grievances. Nigeria was recently delisted from the list of countries of particular concern by the U.S. We need to know why Nigeria was delisted because nothing has changed.”


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