Nigeria’s foremost industrial security expert Ona Ekhomu has described the recent attack on five banks in Otta, Kwara State, as an act of terrorism, and he warned the police authorities to not dismiss the incident as a bank roll.
“The attacks exhibited all the hallmarks of a spectacular terror attack, including violent neutralization of law enforcement, use of IEDs, use of automatic weapons, large number of attackers, ISIS-style vehicular convoy, aggressive combat tactics, large number of wanton deaths,” he said in a press release in Lagos on Wednesday.
According to him, the narrative of bank robbery was grossly erroneous and patently false, adding it was a brazen terrorist attack aimed at causing mayhem,deaths and striking fear into the hearts of Kwara citizens.
The vault-raiding part of the incident, he said, was just secondary.
“While we can understand the need for fear reduction on the part of the authorities, it is not helpful to mischaracterize incidents thereby giving citizens a false sense of security,” he warned.
Analysing the vulnearbility of Kwara, he recalled the state had experienced incidents of violent extremism and terrorism in the pastm citing bombing of the Ilorin township Stadium many years ago, and cases of espionage agents and their Nigerian conspirators detected in the state.
The president of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) noted that the displacement of Boko Haram fighters from Sambisa forest and the mass release of its suspects by the federal government preceding this incident could indicate terrorists regrouping in the area.
“The authorities must thoroughly investigate the terror attack and giveNigerians a proper explanation of what happened on that day,; he said.
Ekhomu also advised Investigators to resist the temptation of arresting vagrants and labeling them Offa bank robbers, and that police must restrain from extra-judicial killing in the course of investigation.
While felicitating with the police authorities and families of the nine policemen killed in the incident, Ekhom urged the authorities to conduct threat and vulnerability assessments of police facilities in the country.
He said that the Design Basis Threat (DBT) for these facilities must be determined so that the security architecture and engineeringof facilities would be robust enough to address the threat.
“Design Basis Threat (DBT) is the threat (e.g. tactics and weapons, tools, explosives,etc.) against which assets within a building must be protected and upon which the security engineering design of the building is based,” he said.