Security beefed up in Presidential Villa

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Ihuoma Chiedozie

Security was beefed up in the Presidential Villa on Thursday, following twin bomb blasts at the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja.

Vehicles entering the complex were subjected to rigorous security checks by a combined team of military and police personnel stationed at the various entry points.

Our correspondent observed that, comparatively, fewer visitors were able to get into the Presidential Villa as those without satisfactory reasons for visiting the complex were turned back.

However, those who were granted access were made to go through further checks by a security personnel wielding a manual bomb detector.

Security men at the various security posts in the Presidential Villa were on the alert all through the day, and everybody, including staff and visitors, were subjected to stringent screening.

Generally, the mood in the Presidential Villa was calm and subdued.

There were concerns among workers in the complex that, if a bomb could be detonated inside the Police Force Headquarters, then even the Presidential Villa itself may not be safe.

This sentiment was expressed in most discussions over the bomb blasts.

The bombing and its implications was the major topic in most discussions among staff in the various offices and along the corridors in the Presidential Villa.

Our correspondent also observed that most televisions in the complex were tuned to local channels as people sought updates on the development.

It was gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan was in his official residence when he received reports of the incident.

Although the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, and the other security chiefs, had not been seen in the Presidential Villa as at the time of filing this report, a source informed our correspondent that “the President had been receiving minute-by-minute reports on the bomb blasts.”

The reports followed a directive from the President, immediately he heard about the development.

The source explained that Ringim broke the news to Jonathan.

“The IG (Inspector-General) informed Mr. President himself immediately after the incident, and Mr. President demanded minute-by-minute updates, which he has been receiving, even as we speak,” the source said.

The source further disclosed that the President “is studying the reports and will take appropriate decisions.”

But the Presidency was yet to react to the incident as at the time of filing this report.


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