US-Iran Spat: IGP Places Policemen on Red Alert Nationwide
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Nigeria, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has placed police commands and formations nationwide on red alert to forestall any possible local outrage that may arise from the assassination of a top Iranian general, Mr Qassem Soleimani, by the United States, which has sparked controversy globally.
The police chief, in a statement released on Sunday, raised an alarm that domestic interests may be planning public disturbances and sabotage across the country over the issue.
Mr Adamu explained that he came up with this measure following “Intelligence Report that sequel to the recent killing of an Iranian General; some domestic interests are planning to embark on massive public disturbances and sabotage.”
“The Police Commanders have been directed to ensure strategic deployments of both overt and covert Police operatives to ensure adequate security and safety of citizens. foreigners especially diplomats and diplomatic missions domiciled in Nigeria,” he added.
The police chief also said his men have been placed on high alert so as to protect critical national assets, assuring all Nigerians and foreigners resident in Nigeria of adequate security. He also equally warned all potential troublemakers to steer clear of the streets and territory of Nigeria.
Tensions have loomed following the United States’ assassination of Mr Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. He was killed in a United States air raid in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Friday morning.
The move by the US has drawn condemnation but has also risen fear in the Middle East region and this could escalate drastically especially as Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, has warned that a harsh retaliation was waiting.
Analysts say that domestic interests may arise from Shia Muslims in Nigeria, who have faced harsh circumstances in the past and that the action of the police chief was a necessary measure considering that Iran is a major Shia country with 95 percent making up the majority of the Muslim population.