Panic over possible Boko Haram attack on Apapa ports, Lagos

Posted by News Express | 6 December 2014 | 5,911 times

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Despite assurances from the Nigeria Police of increased security within the Apapa ports, fear has enveloped workers, residents, traders and other Nigerians with businesses within the port city following intelligence report received by the Police of possible attacks on the nation’s maritime facility by the dreaded Boko Haram Islamist sect.

Since the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Western Ports Command, Mrs. Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison sounded the alarm, stakeholders stormed various social media, condemning and praying against the planned attack.

Their fears were fuelled by the congestion occasioned by the perennial traffic gridlock within the ports, which according to security experts, provide a perfect cover for the terrorists to strike and quickly melt into the crowd.

Those who spoke with Saturday Sun on phone said the horrible traffic situation remains a major setback for security operatives as they have limited room to coordinate the move­ment of people.

“It is even worse when a blast occurs because the chaos that will ensue is unimaginable. We have a problem on our hands. I just pray it never happens. Apapa is choked up ordinarily, let alone when a blast occurs. In fact, in my office now, we pray for 30 min­utes everyday we come to work and the prayer point is on this attack and other happenings in Nigeria,” Jerome Madubuike, a businessman in Apapa, said.

A banker who craved anonymity said: “Since this story broke out from the Police themselves, I suffer high BP whenever I’m going to work. I can’t imagine the devastation. Do you know hundreds of thousands of people who transact businesses in Apapa? Where will the Police start from? How will fire fighters access the blast scene? What of rescue operations involving ambulances and all? The tankers and trailers have blocked everywhere. They themselves are vectors of crisis. I pray it remains an impotent threat.”

However, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Western Ports Command, Mrs. Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, has given an assurance that security has been beefed up around the ports, warning people operating within the area to stay alert always.

“We are not taking the threat lightly at all and we encourage all stakeholders who visit the ports to keep their eyes and ears open in case of any activity of the sect,” Ibifuro-Harisson, who was represented by the Assistant Commissioner in charge of administration, Salem Machree, said.

She said the Police would remain on alert in ensuring that the violent sect does not hit the ports.

•Credit (except for amended headline): Saturday Sun. Photo shows Apapa Wharf.

Source: News Express

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