The Nigerian authorities have placed the police on alert following violent protests in Libya and other Islamic countries sparked off by a film, "Innocence of Muslims," released in the US, which Muslims consider derogatory of Islam and Prophet Mohammad.
According to Channels TV, the Nigerian police say they have taken "immediate proactive security measures to ensure that no similar violence is replicated within our country."
The measures follow outbreak of violence in Libya and Egypt after release of the film "Innocence of Islam," produced in the United States and described as "anti-Islam." According to Digital Journal, "Protests and outrage are now spreading to Lebanon and Iran, and continue in Yemen and Egypt, Libya and now Sudan, over the film 'Innocence of Muslims,' released on YouTube, which insults the Prophet Mohammed."
The Street Journal reports the protest started in Cairo, Egypt and spread to Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Gaza.
On Tuesday night, gunmen stormed the US Consulate in Benghazi. The US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other staff of the US Embassy were killed in an attack on a safe house. Libyan security officials moved the US officials to the safe house after an attack on the U.S. Consulate.
Nigeria News Online reports the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, has placed all police formations in the country on red alert and ordered increased security around embassies and foreign missions, especially in the northern parts of the country that have recently seen Boko Haram violence
According to Nigeria News Online, the statement said:
“In this regard, the IGP has directed all Zonal AIGs and Command Commissioners of Police to ensure a 24-hour water-tight security in and around all Embassies and Foreign Missions in Nigeria as well as other vulnerable targets. In addition, the AIG in charge of Intelligence and Commissioners of Police in charge of the various Police Special Squads such as the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Police Mobile Force (PMF) and Special Protection Unit (SPU) have been directed to ensure that their personnel are strategically deployed to prevent and nib all potential crisis in the bud.”Channels TV reports that the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, in the statement, said:
“While assuring law abiding citizens of the readiness and capacity of the Nigeria Police to provide adequate security for life and property, the IGP warned potential trouble makers to stay off the streets of Nigeria as the nation’s security agencies will bring to bear the full weight of the law on all laws breakers.
“The IGP also advised parents and guardians to monitor their wards closely to protect them from negative influences of mischief makers who may want to lure them into criminal and unwholesome acts.”
According to The Street Journal, the US has issued a warning to its citizens in Nigeria that they may be targeted. The Street Journal reports the statement reads:
"The U.S. Mission reminds citizens of the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Violent and deadly demonstrations and attacks occurred in Cairo, Egypt, and Benghazi, Libya, during the past 24 hours, including a lethal attack against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Extremists may attempt to target U.S citizens and other Westerners in Nigeria. The U.S. Mission in Nigeria strongly urges U.S. citizens in Nigeria to consider their personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their planning."
The statement said further:
"Last week, extremists attacked cellular telephone towers in Northern Nigeria, damaging over 30 towers and degrading cellular telephone and Internet communications nationwide. Additional attacks could further weaken the ability of citizens to communicate through cellular telephones and the Internet. Land line telephone communications in Nigeria remain limited. U.S. citizens should attempt to arrange for multiple means of communication during emergencies.
"All U.S. citizens should use caution and discretion when deciding to attend large functions or visit establishments identified as potential targets, and respond appropriately if they detect suspicious activities. Because of ongoing security concerns within the Federal Capital Territory, U.S. citizens should continue to expect heavy traffic congestion, road blocks, and significant police/security force deployments. All U.S. citizens should remain vigilant, pay attention to their surroundings, limit exposure to large crowds, and keep their cellular telephones in close proximity for use in cases of emergency.”