COVID-19: Boko Haram may exploit pandemic to increase attacks – UN warns Nigeria
The United Nations(UN) has warned Nigeria about a likelihood of Boko Haram launching increased attacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This information was contained in its newly released security threat information and advisory. The United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS), however, said such resurgence could be averted with adequate measures are in place.
UNDSS warned the group may target areas in which they have experienced success previously using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to target even critical national infrastructure.
The UNDSS said in addition to constraining government efforts against insecurity, Boko Haram may seek to distract military activities in the north-east and gain wider acceptance.
The UNDSS cautioned that Nigeria was at the beginning of a series of closely connected crises ranging from civil unrest, crime to the increasing threat of terrorism. that were fuming for quite some time and now released by COVID-19 impact on the government and population,” the report obtained by THISDAY read.
In the context of critical national infrastructure, these are considered any of economic or security entities and their premises (petrol industry installations, banks, governmental facilities, shopping malls, hotels, etc). Regardless of the location in the country, especially state capitals, including Lagos and Abuja, the threat remains real.
The UN does not consider itself a major target of the insurgents in Nigeria but considers it important to warn the government on potential threats to major national assets.
As a way of waging such attacks, the UNDSS recommended that country-specific security risk management measures in Nigeria be urgently reviewed and full implemented considered seriously.
President Muhammadu Buhari had warned that Boko Haram might strike amid the pandemic, but added that Nigeria remains vigilant.