Friday, 2 September 2011

UN bomb attack: Nigerian government reassures foreign envoys of security

On 29 August, the Federal Government reassured the diplomatic community in Abuja, that it would make every effort to safeguard their embassies and personnel, following the 26 August suicide bomb attack at the United Nations House.
Addressing over 50 diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, said the UN House attack had made it necessary to intimate them of steps being taken by the government towards their security. The minister then invited the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Hafiz Ringim, to update the diplomats.
The IGP told the envoys that following the UN House blast, President Goodluck Jonathan summoned the heads of all security agencies to a meeting, “where far-reaching decisions were made on how to ensure, not only the security of foreign missions’ property and facilities, but of their personal as well”. He said the Presidency subsequently mandated security agencies, particularly the IGP, to meet with the diplomats on how to strengthen security around their personnel and facilities.
In furtherance of that mandate, the IGP informed the diplomats that security agencies would be meeting them soon, to re-assess their security needs and work out new modalities for ensuring better security in their missions. He said: “We will go round, from mission to mission, and discuss what specific security assistance you require that would make you feel more secure”.
The IGP said he was aware that some of the missions and diplomats had already requested for information and for additional security coverage, following the bomb attack. He said he had been mandated to grant all such security requests, as much as is possible.
He said: “Security agencies have been directed to leave nothing to chance and nothing can stand in the process of providing each and every one of you the necessary security that you need, in order to function peacefully and effectively while you are in this country”.
Updating the diplomats on investigations of the 26 August blast, the IGP disclosed that “our security agencies have made some arrests”, but he did not provide any details. He said: “The President would soon make pronouncements in that regard to you and the nation”.

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