The Plateau Police Command on Sunday in Jos directed that all churches and mosques must be fenced to secure them from attackers.
The State Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ayeni, said in a statement that the measure was one of the decisions taken at a stakeholders meeting on security on Saturday. The meeting was attended by all heads of security agencies, government officials, as well as community and religious leaders.
Ayeni who presided over the meeting said a fenced building was easier to secure, as attackers could only go through the entrances to get at their targets. The meeting, according to him, also agreed that all vehicles must be parked outside such fenced premises.
It also advised that security guards must stop concentrating on just the entrances and exits of the buildings. "During worship sessions, the entire premises should be cordoned off, while religious leaders must provide technical devices to enable the guards carry out thorough checks on worshippers,’’ Ayeni said in the statement.
He said the stakeholders called for more training for the churches’ guards, to enable them meet up with their responsibilities. "Youths should also be sensitised against fighting security agents deployed to scenes of blasts or attacks,’’ the meeting agreed.
The stakeholders re-emphasised the need to intensify the ban on the dangerous drink, popularly called ``Goskolo’’, and directed Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to ensure strict compliance.
According to Ayeni, members of the public were also warned against rushing to scenes of incidents, especially explosions. "This is to avoid further harm and also safeguard vital material evidence needed for investigation,’’ he said in the statement.
The stakeholders also called for the rejuvenation of the Police Force by recruiting more men and providing the right equipment to meet modern challenges.
"They also called for more poverty alleviation programmes to engage the youths in more productive ventures, stressing that such youths, if left idle, were potential mercenaries in the hands of `greedy politicians’,’’ the statement added.
The stakeholders also suggested the prompt formation of vigilante groups by communities to augment security agencies’ efforts. "There is also the need for the profiling of arrested suspects to trace them if they escape,’’ the statement said.
It added that the stakeholders also emphasised the need for public consciousness and courage to tackle terrorism. "They cautioned against any belief that the attacks were over so as not to be caught unawares,’’ the statement added.