President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday cancelled his scheduled appearance to commission a new project in Abuja after threats of terrorist attacks enveloped the Nigerian capital.
Spokesman Garba Shehu said Mr Buharil will, instead of attending the commissioning of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) new Technology and Innovation Complex, receive national security chiefs at the State House.
Mr Buhari and his officials would “further review and strengthen security network in the country,” Mr Shehu said, adding that the Nigerian leader would also “interject” in some areas that required urgent national security attention.
The development comes days after foreign missions in Nigeria, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and European Union, issued statements warning of possible terrorist attacks in Abuja.
The threats forced the missions to issue statements to their nationals in Nigeria to immediately evacuate using their own resources. Staff members and their families at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja were evacuated throughout the week.
Mr Buhari and his information minister Lai Mohammed previously dismissed the threats as “unconfirmed” and slammed the foreign missions as creating unnecessary panic with their alerts, which forced businesses and schools to shut down across the nation’s capital.
The State House statement did not immediately say whether or not the administration now has received credible intelligence of a possible attack, but an official told Peoples Gazette the abrupt cancellation of a scheduled appearance by the president was due to the threats. The official, who sought anonymity to discuss internal issues without approval, did not elaborate.