Insecurity: FCT Minister Orders Registration of Foreigners in Abuja
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has directed all the six area council chairmen in the territory to begin the registration of all aliens in their respective areas as well as satellite towns within their locality.
This, according to Mohammed, they are required to do in conjunction with the officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
The minister, who gave the directive during an enlarged security meeting of the FCT yesterday in Life Camp, Gwarinpa in Abuja, to review the security situation in the nation’s capital, also instructed the council chairmen to continue with their regular security meetings in their respective areas with the traditional rulers, community leaders, Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and other stakeholders.
He restated his earlier directive for the strengthening of security at all shopping malls and markets in the FCT particularly in the metropolis, while promising that that the FCT Administration (FCTA) was liaising with appropriate security agencies towards the re-opening of the EMAB Shopping Plaza, scene of last week’s bombing to normal business activities.
Already, he noted, the owners and management of the ever busy shopping plaza have been given standard security requirements to be put in place before the plaza can be re-opened for business activities.
Mohammed equally directed that the shopping centres and plazas along the crowded Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II and along all other busy corridors in the city and the satellite towns be similarly made to comply with the new security template.
“The ownership and management of the plazas are also required to cooperate fully with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and other agencies to checkmate hawking around the shopping centres especially in areas that are considered soft targets for terrorist attacks,” he said.
The minister also directed the FCT Road Traffic Services Department and the police to eject all persons carrying out commercial or begging activities on the various pedestrian bridges.
Giving an update on the number of casualties following the EMAB Plaza terror attack, the FCT Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya, said the
casualty figure had risen to 24 following the death of three more victims on admission in hospitals.
Onakomaiya said two victims died in the National Hospital, while one died in Maitama District hospital.
During the meeting, a minute silence was observed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the EMAB Plaza bombing incident.
Meanwhile, Mohammed has commended the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for its quick response via rescue operations few minutes after last week Wednesday’s terror attack on EMAB Plaza in Abuja.
Mohammed said the coordinated rescue team of the agency was the first to arrive the scene of the bombing within seven minutes after the blast and was able to rescue many victims from the scene.
Speaking during the opening of the enlarged FCT security meeting in Abuja yesterday, the minister expressed satisfaction with the performance of the agency.
He recalled that the FEMA received a distress call at about 4:07p.m. on the day of the bombing and immediately dispatched a foam tender- CT 274 A11, a water tanker- CT 360 A11 and an ambulance – CT 92 A07 from the Asokoro Fire Division while another water tanker was dispatched from the Gwarinpa Division.
He said: “The FCT Fire Service was the first responder to the scene and they were joined by the Search and Rescue Team from FEMA Headquarters.
“The FCT fire service team made up of 30 officers and men was eventually able to put out the ensuing fire from the blast early giving way for subsequent rescue and evacuation of victims to various hospitals in the territory.”
Also speaking, the Director-General of FEM, Alhaji Abbas Idris, said operationally, the agency works in synergy with its stakeholders made up of the NEMA, police, military, DSS, FRSC, NSCDC, Fire Service, Directorates of Road Traffic Services, the Red Cross and volunteers whose respective roles are well defined and performed in the event of an emergency. The Director-General assured all residents of the territory that the agency would continue to work round the clock to prevent or mitigate disasters.