THERE was tight security at the various eid prayer grounds in the Federal Capital Territory and Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Monday as Muslim faithful marked the Eid-el-Kabir.
Policemen from the Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Units and the Explosive Ordinance Department were deployed in the prayer grounds to foil any plot by nefarious elements.
Armed policemen were also seen at strategic points around the FCT, including mobile patrol teams at major street junctions and locations in Abuja.
One of our correspondents, who went round the FCT, observed security operatives, including men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Services’ personnel, and Federal Road Safety Corps’ officers at all the prayer grounds.
At Kubwa, a satellite town in the FCT, security was tight as policemen screened those who came to participate in the eid prayers.
The men of the FRSC were seen regulating and controlling vehicular traffic along the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway during the prayers.
A similar situation was observed at the main eid prayer ground along the Airport Road, Abuja, where security operatives maintained a watchful presence on hundreds of Muslim faithful who converged on the place for prayers.
Besides policemen, the prayer ground at the NYSC Junction along the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway was also guarded by some Sharia officers attired in brown uniform and blue berets.
The FCT Command Police Public Relations Officer, Manza Anjuguri, said there was no incident during the special sallah operation, noting that everything was free of crisis.
“It was a successful operation for the police. There was no incident or violence. Our men were on duty at all the prayer grounds where they screened the faithful and provided security for everyone,” he said on the telephone.
Also in Ilorin, there was a high presence of security operatives at the prayer grounds as Muslim faithful observed the Eid-el-Kabir prayers on Monday.
Personnel of the Nigerian Army, DSS, police, FRSC, Nigerian Immigration Service, NSCDC, Nigeria Prison Service, other paramilitary agencies and Nigerian Vigilance Group were seen at the prayer arenas and major junctions in the state providing security.
The prayer ended peacefully in Ilorin, where there was apprehension that it could be disrupted and dignitaries embarrassed.
Reports from across the state, as of the time of filing the report, indicated that the prayers also ended peacefully.
The Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki; the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed; the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad; the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, and the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Basiru Mohammed, were among the dignitaries that attended the prayers at the Ilorin Yidi prayer ground.
Earlier, Saraki had distributed empowerment materials said to be worth about N250m to selected beneficiaries across the 16 local government areas of the state.
The Director-General, Mandate Constituency office, Mr. Abdulwahab Issa, said the beneficiaries included women associations, taxi drivers associations, Hausa, Igbo, Suru and Fulani groups; members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigeria Association of Local Government Employees, and Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olusola Amore, said the heavy presence of security operatives was a normal security measure to ensure peaceful prayers and celebrations.