- IGP orders water-tight security in Churches, parks
Against the backdrop of reality of the economic downturn, Christians in the country are to celebrate this year’s Easter low-key even as the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has ordered water-tight security in churches and motor parks to check any breach.
Many residents of Abuja interviewed by Nigerian Pilot disclosed that unlike previous years’ festivity, the celebration this year has current economic downturn factored into it. Some respondents said further that the usual Easter weekend travels they embarked on will not be for same economic reasons.
When Nigerian Pilot visited some motor parks in the federal capital, very few travellers were seen with their bags ready to embark on their journey. Some of them who spoke to Nigerian Pilot lamented the poor economic situation the country is facing in recent times which according to them will affect how they will celebrate the season.
Others were of the view that despite the economic downturn in the country, it must be celebrated to thank God for giving them the opportunity to see this year’s event.
According to Mr. Sunny Peters, at Utako Motor Park, he is not travelling for fun but for a very important issue.
“I am not just travelling for Easter; i am in Abuja for a purpose, am through with the purpose and am going back. So whether you have money or you don’t have money, you must celebrate Easter,” he said.
“The main thing in Easter period is good health, once you are alive, you have to thank God for that. But now there is no money in the country. On that day, i will go to church and thank God for giving me the opportunity to see this year. I will not go and drink even if i have the money.
“I am travelling to Benin and transport fare has increased and I know it will increase the more, this is not good” Mr. Government Imihom said.
As for Miss Precious Pisom who was seen at the motor park with her luggage waiting to board a vehicle, she said: “I will celebrate Easter very well to thank God for keeping me alive, if i get money now, i will buy food and eat in my house, i will go to church and thank God.”
The story is not different with Miss Juliana Chinyere who maintained that she is not planning any big party on that day because she has no money to throw party.
According to a businessman who simply identified himself as Mr. Victor, there is no money in the country and nothing is actually moving to show that Easter is around the corner. So there is nothing to celebrate as far as he is concerned.
The IGP particularly directed Command COs to personally ensure that all key and vulnerable points within their jurisdictions, including places of worship, recreation centres, motor parks, highways, financial institutions and all places of public resort are adequately and effectively protected.
A statement issued by the Force PRO, ACP Olabisi Kolawole said the IGP, on behalf of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, congratulated the entire Christian community in Nigeria, as they join their brethren across the globe to mark the 2016 Easter celebration.
The statement said, while urging Nigerians to emulate and adopt the selfless life style of Christ, the IGP enjoined them to be open minded to issues of forgiveness, peace and harmonious co-existence, in consonance with the principles and teachings of Christ, especially, in this trying moment in the history of our dear country.
The police chief equally urged worshippers at Church services to make conscious effort to know fellow members of their congregation, as this will make it easier for them to know who is a stranger in their midst. He reiterated the need for worshippers to be security alert and report all suspicious characters and observations to the Police.
According to the statement, the IGP advised operators of motor parks, shopping malls and recreational centres to work very closely with the Police and other security agencies as they strive to strengthen general security in their respective facilities.
Part of the statement reads: “IGP Arase wishes, in the spirit of the season, to salute officers and men of the Force for their courage, dedication, tireless and selfless services to Nigerians and the country, especially, in the face of current challenges.
“He restated the resolve and commitment of the present Police Administration to reposition the Force for greater efficiency, including bargaining for better welfare package and more conducive working conditions.
“While commending Nigerians for their patience, understanding and cooperation with the Police in the fight against crime and criminality, the Inspector-General of Police enjoins them to continue to support the Force with useful information that will effectively assist the Police in tracking down undesirable elements in the society. He sued for peace from all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious, political and socio-cultural leanings.”
Similarly, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Wilson Inalegwu has ordered a water-tight security at all worship centres, recreational parks and crowd attracting places across the territory.
The CP issued the directives to Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers whom he also tasked to deploy adequately at the aforementioned points to ensure a hitch-free celebration.
Spokesman for the FCT police command, ASP Anjuguri J. Manzah said in a statement that to complement the Area Commands and Divisions, CP Inalegwu also ordered the strategic deployment of plainclothes and uniformed Police personnel from the Command Headquarters to man all entry and exit points, and to embark on motorised, foot and static patrol across FCT.
The statement said, “While assuring FCT residents of adequate security during the Easter celebration, the Commissioner of Police FCT enjoins residents to continue to partner with the Command through the provision of timely information on situations that might require prompt Police response.”
The statement revealed Control Room numbers as: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883.