Following the bomb blast that occurred in Abuja on Wednesday, the Nigerian Police says it must strike a balance between the need to inform the public and protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.
This assertion was made by the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who spoke live via the telephone on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday morning.
Asked to give updates, owing to information that one of the perpetrators of the bombing was arrested, Mba said that at the time, that there was not much he could tell about the ongoing investigation.
He explained that investigating terror related cases was a very sensitive issue that must be handled with all carefulness and caution.
He, however, confirmed that indeed, an arrest was made and the suspect was being interrogated. He also confirmed that Police had commenced a post blast analysis with the region of the blast cordoned off to avoid a compromise of the investigations.
“That’s the most that can be said for now”, he said.
On the response time of the rescue team, which witnesses have commended to be quite quick, Mr Mba corroborated the commendation and gave credits to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Fire Service for their quick response.
He also commended the occupants of the shopping mall for their vigilance which resulted in the arrest made. He noted that the sensitization exercise of security agencies in all the public places paid off in the sense that the mall occupants were not only able to identify a suspect but were also able to ensure that the bomber did not get to the centre of their premises.
He added that they have been able to prevent a more devastating tragedy with their vigilance.
On moving forward, the Police PRO gave series of advice to occupants of public commercial centres across the country on how to protect themselves and their facilities from further attack.
He said that they must maintain discipline among themselves by paying attention to the people who come into their premises, as “access control must be strict”. He also suggested that parking lots that are away from core business centres would be much safer for all.
While emphasizing the need to install CCTV on their premises, he asked that they must work much closer with security agencies and arm themselves with phone numbers of the Police and the SSS.
He stated that the security number 112 was at the beck and call of every Nigerian but they should do more than cramming it but also have the control room number of the state in which they reside.
The phone numbers of the Police, the Department of State Service (DSS), and that of the National Security Adviser, he said, were available on the Police website, Frank Mba’s blog and other websites of security agencies.
He called on corporate organisations to help the Police and other security agencies to promote the numbers as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. He also appealed to Channels Television to further help with its credible international platform by scrolling the numbers periodically to reach out to its millions of viewers in Nigeria and across the world.
He promised that the Police would continue to do everything possible to strengthen its security apparatus to ensure the safety of Nigeria and Nigerians.