Posted on Tuesday, 07 May 2013 12:57

Nigeria: Army and police join efforts to fight terror in Abuja

By Konye Obaji Ori

In 2011, the UN building in Abuja was bombed leaving at least 21 dead and 60 wounded/Photo©ReutersThe Nigerian army says it has made it its major priority to prevent terror attacks in the capital Abuja.

Terrorists attacked the city in 2011 and 2012, and the government's Joint Task Force has vowed to prevent any future attacks.


Major General Obidah Etnan, the commander at the Army HQ in Garrison, Abuja and federal capital territory (FCT) police commissioner, Olufemi Ogunbayode, on Monday pledged to secure the capital against any potential attack from terrorists.

"In fact, the security of the FCT and nation at large is paramount to us at both the army headquarters garrison and police headquarters," Etnan told journalists.

"With proper cooperation and synergy, I believe the challenges of countering terrorism and insurgency will be less problematic to us."

In 2012, two police officers were killed when a group of terrorists attacked a Nigerian police base in Abuja, enabling five suspected robbers to escape.

"I want to say that information and intelligence sharing is the key to both security agencies checkmating crime and terrorism challenges. 

"There must be trust and camaraderie. We should not harbour any doubt in our responsibilities to the nation and to our agencies," Etnan added.

In 2011, the UN building in the FCT was bombed. The bombing was the first terror attack in Abuja. 

The attack killed at least 21 and wounded 60. A wing of the building collapsed and the ground floor was badly damaged. 

Emergency services were quickly dispatched on the scene removing dead bodies. 

Cranes were also brought to the blast site to move the mass of rubble and ensure that no-one is trapped there.

The Nigerian police force reiterated its commitment to join forces with the army to deal with the challenges of insurgency and terrorism around the FCT.

"There is no other security force that plays as much complimentary and contemporary role as the Nigerian Army does for the Police," Ogunbayode said.

Nigeria's military and the police have played key roles in ensuring peace and security in the FCT.

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