Security operatives have intensified patrols in flashpoint cities in the north after deadly attacks by extremists in Libya and Egypt have left four Americans dead.
There are reports that fundamentalists in the Jos, Kaduna and Kano have been holding meetings to organize protests against the American amateur film slamming Islam. Release of the controversial anti-Islam film sparked outrage, causing riots in Benghazi, Libya and in Cairo, Egypt.
The United States ambassador to Libya, Chris Steven and three other American diplomats were killed in Libya by gunmen on Tuesday.
Hours after the attack, police boss in Nigeria, Mohammed Abubakar announced a 24-hour water-tight security around embassies in the nation’s capital and in the north.
Responding to the possibility of a threat by the radical Islamist Boko Haram sect, the US embassy also issued a statement warning Americans in Nigeria to stay on the alert.
“Extremists may attempt to target US citizens and other Westerners in Nigeria. The US Mission in Nigeria strongly urges US citizens in Nigeria to consider their personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their planning,” the embassy warned in a statement on Thursday.
It further urged citizens to have multiple means of communications in case of emergencies. The statement reminded US citizens that attacks on cell phone towers by the extremist sect has limited telephone communications in the country and as such citizens must be vigilant.
The Punch reported that residents in flashpoint cities in Nigeria’s restive north are concerned of a possible attack especially after the Jumat on Friday.
Sources cited in the Punch have said residents in Kaduna fear that some extremists might take it upon themselves to “rise in the defense of Islam”. However, Aminu Lawan, spokesman for the Kaduna state police commissioner has dismissed the planned protest as “a mere rumor”.
Lawan assured that police officers are on ground and will curb any violent outbreaks in the city.
“Our men are patrolling every nook and cranny of the state,” Lawan said, adding, “I want to say that any group planning such protest should handle it with maturity as the command would not hesitate to deal with any those trying to break the law.”
Joint Task Force operatives have also been deployed in strategic places in Plateau state in order to maintain order and assure weary citizens.