The ECOWAS Commission has issued a security alert on alleged plans by criminal elements to infiltrate state capitals, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to carry out abductions or recruit for terrorism.

It therefore advised its staff to limit social engagements as much as possible and avoid going out at night, drinking places and restaurants after work hours.

The security alert dated April 28,2021 was issued by the ECOWAS Commissioner for General Administration and Conference and posted by an activist, Reno Omokri, on his Twitter handle on Sunday.

This is coming a few days after the security department of the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a similar advisory to its staff.

The alert was sequel to rising incidences of violent crimes including abductions, killings and banditry in parts of the country.

The ECOWAS statement was titled, ‘Security advisory on the current security situation in the country.’

It read in part, “There is a heightened sense of insecurity sweeping across the country lately. Intelligence reports warn of plans by undesirable elements to infitrate various parts of the country, particularly state capitals including the Federal Capital Territory, with the view to perpetrate crimes such as abductions and kidnappings for ransom, or as means of getting recruits for terrorist activites.

“Staff are therefore strongly advised to be extra careful as they go about their daily activities.

“Kindly observe the following: Maintain environmental awareness on your route to, and from work; watch out for anything abnormal around your surroundings, avoid and report same immediately, limit social engagements as much as possible and avoid going out at night.”

The advisory also implored staff to limit in-country travels as much as possible, whether by road or by air.

It further admonished them to keep to the main roads, avoid using deserted/lonely routes and dark alleys and avoid routes where rallies or any form of mass gatherings are taking place.

“Take appropriate security measures when approaching a checkpoint. Be prepared to take anti-ambush/counter surveillance measures always, and be vigilant at places of worship, markets, motor parks, filling stations and shopping malls,” the comission said.

It also urged the staff to avoid circulating unverified security-related materials on social media platforms.