The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has placed police commands and formations nationwide on red alert.
This follows intelligence report that some “domestic interests” are planning to embark on massive public disturbances and sabotage to protest the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike by the United States.
“Consequently, zonal AIGs and command Commissioners of Police have been directed to ensure maximum surveillance and security of lives and property across the nation,” the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Soleimani, who headed Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on Friday.
The general was killed alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi), an Iran-backed umbrella organisation comprising several militias.
Several other people were also killed in the attack.
The move by the US has drawn condemnation from leaders and officials who fear that tensions in the region could escalate drastically.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei had warned that “a harsh retaliation is waiting.”
There are also fears that the Shi’ites faithful in the country who have a religious affiliation to Iran may protest Soleimani’s killing.
The spokesman, Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, could not be reached for comment on Sunday as calls to his phone rang out.
But Mba in the statement said police commanders had been directed to ensure strategic deployments of both overt and covert police operatives to ensure adequate security and safety of citizens, foreigners, especially diplomats and diplomatic missions in the country as well as the protection of critical national assets.
He said the IG had assured all Nigerians and foreigners of adequate security.
“He has equally warned all potential troublemakers to steer clear of the streets and territory of Nigeria,” the statement noted.