The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said yesterday that the UK government informed its Nigerian counterpart on the terror alert and travel advice it declared on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, recently.
Recall that the federal government had taken offence at the fact that it was not informed by the UK government before it went to town with the travel advice on its citizens, in view of what it considered as terror alert on the the FCT.
But speaking at the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN Forum in Abuja yesterday, Laing said: “But we have a responsibility to our citizens to alert them if we are concerned about a security threat. But, of course, that advice is available to everybody, anyone can sign up for a travel alert from us.
“So, you have travel advice, everyone has travel advice and so we talked carefully to the government of Nigeria but we also have to alert our citizens and, indeed, anyone who wants to read.”
She contended that the travel advice was in line with the United Kingdom government’s security support to Nigeria and Africa, adding that the initial threat that led to the issue of the advice warning British Citizens on the security threat in Abuja had been managed and the advice reverted.
“The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has been green all the time, until we were made aware of the specific security in Abuja and we have now reverted back to green.
“But the particular threat we were worried about we are confident have been managed.
It is obviously for the Nigerian government to lead on this, the various agencies are working incredibly hard to pick up intelligence to process and to follow the leads.
“Our job as the UK is to support Nigeria, and we have a security defence partnership with Nigeria, which has many, many different aspects.
“One of the aspects is support on counterterrorism. So we do military training, for example, on counter explosives, to how your soldiers can spot the explosives and dismantle it if they see one.
“So, we are here to support, but it is obviously for the Nigerian government and the military to lead on security,” Laing said.