How to spot a terrorist- Experts

We begin this piece by praying for our nation Nigeria. We pray for those victims who have lost their lives since the wake of terrorist attacks in Nigeria by Boko Haram sect. Those recovering from injury, we wish them speedy recovery.

Two security experts, Richard Amuwa and Dr. Ona Ekhomu, have urged vigilance and a more friendly relationship between security agents and residents to tackle threats of Boko Haram, especially in Lagos.

They said vigilance was the only way to recognise terrorists, adding that a friendly relationship would encourage the people to be free to report suspicious objects or persons in their neighbourhood.

Ekhomu, who is the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, advised Lagosians to imbibe the culture of TAPIs ─ Terrorists Attacks Pre-incident Indicators ─ to avoid unnecessary deaths and tragedy.

He said, “Boko Haram members have been with us for a while; so one thing we can do is to be vigilant against the influx of strangers into neighbourhoods. Landlords associations should register okada (motorcycle) riders and keke NAPEP (tricycle) drivers. Give them vests so that any stranger would be picked up.

“Also, ask questions if anyone moves suspiciously in your area. Look out for one another. Everybody must be their brothers’ keepers.”

Ekhomu said the ammunition of war of Boko Haram members was usually the IEDs.

“So, if you see anyone collecting cans; or anyone with bags of fertiliser; or anyone with container of diesel when they don’t have a generator, be suspicious. These are ingredients for IEDs. Boko Haram don’t have easy access to high explosives,” the security expert added.

He also urged Lagosians not to be confrontational if someone looked suspicious. He added that the suspect might be armed and could kill to save himself.

Ekhomu said, “Contact the authority immediately. You can also contact the media to ensure accountability by the security agencies.”

Also, Amuwa said the police should be ready to work with the people without creating fear in them.

He said, “The people should not hesitate to raise the alarm if they see any strange face in their environment.

“People should think less about their problems, and be more conscious of happenings within their environment.”

Amuwa, who is the Managing Director of the Mega Guards Services Limited, also advised the government to ban the wearing of hijab for the time being, saying the veil worn by muslim women, was being used by terrorists to shield explosives.

He said, “The problem is that how do you detect a Boko Haram member? If you are wearing shirts and the terrorist is wearing hijab, how do you figure him or her out? That is why we have asked the government to stop the wearing of hijab for now.”

In a related development sources told our correspondent that the security agencies had been paying attention to some area in Lagos to prevent attacks.

The areas include FESTAC, Apapa, Agege, Yaba, Ojuelegba, Obalende, Ajegunle, Alimosho, Badagry, Lagos Island, Idi araba, Bariga, Bajulaiye, Fola Agoro, Onipanu, Palmgroove, Aguda, Agbado, Ejigbo and Ikorodu, among others.