There was palpable fear among residents of Abuja yesterday, particularly those living and doing business within the International Conference Centre, ICC as the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, in collaboration with other relevant security agencies, tested their newly developed doctrine on counter-terrorism and crisis response, aimed at tackling the new strategies adopted by insurgents to attack soft targets.
However, with such expectations of fear among the residents, the ONSA used the telecommunications provider, radio, and other means of information dissemination to inform the people of the planned exercise.
Some of the residents who were not aware of the planned exercise got terrified as ambulances and emergency officials moved from one part of the city to another, testing their capability to withstand any emergency either by the insurgents or any other natural disaster.
Briefing journalists before the commencement of the exercise at the ICC, the Deputy Director, Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre in the Office of the NSA, Mr. Shehu Saidu explained that the simulation exercise was aimed at testing the validity of the doctrine.
He said the exercise code named Daukin Gagawa, meaning rapid response, is the simulation of a terrorist attack on soft target using pyrotechnic Improvised Explosive Devices and blank ammunition to measure the swift response by all the agencies involved in crisis management and counter-terrorism.
“You will recall that this is the new trend of terrorism worldwide. You saw it in France, Ouagadougou, Bamako and numerous other incidents in Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorists. It is in this light that this exercise is organized by the Office of the National Security Adviser in order to practice the synergy of effort between all the security agencies and the cooperation therein expected of them during such crisis”, he said.
Mr. Saidu said at the end of the simulation exercise, the stakeholders would evaluate the efficiency of the doctrine for amendment or retooling.
He urged members of the public not to panic during the simulation exercise, which was designed for their protection and safety.
The soft target used for the simulation exercise is the International Conference Centre, Abuja and the agencies involved are the Army, Navy, Air Force, Nigeria Police Force, Immigration Service, Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Health, National Emergency Management Agency, National Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service, and all other respondents.
For easy operation, all roads leading to the venue were cordoned off, even as motorists and commuters were advised to use alternative roads to get to their destination.

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