"Terror is a reality the world over. However, it does not mean an attack in Abuja is imminent," says President Muhammadu Buhari's office, after several countries warned of potential attacks, panicking Nigerians and forcing Abuja to boost security.
Nigeria has beefed up security and called for the public to be vigilant but calm after the United States and Britain warned of a high "terror" threat in the capital Abuja.
Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been on high alert since Sunday when several Western embassies changed their travel advisories citing an elevated risk of attack in Abuja.
But since then, "security measures have been reinforced in and around the FCT," a statement from President Muhammadu Buhari's office said on Friday, citing "heightened monitoring and interception of terrorist communications."
"Terror is a reality the world over. However, it does not mean an attack in Abuja is imminent," it added.
The president said he gave his "assurances that the government is on top of the security situation."
"Attacks are being foiled. Security agents are proactively rooting out threats to keep citizens safe -- much of their work unseen and necessarily confidential."
While he ordered "additional precautionary measures be put in place," Buhari said that "the recent changes in travel advice from the US and UK governments should not be a cause for panic."
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price praised security efforts both in Nigeria and South Africa, where a separate US alert of a potential attack outraged the government which feared a panic.
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The Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba said "all emergency numbers" should be activated to help ensure "a 24/7 prompt response with combatant officers and men on standby."
The State Department in its country summary for Nigeria warned that "terrorists may attack with little or no warning," targeting malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars or schools.
The United States, Britain, Australia and Canada had issued warnings last weekend, although the three latter countries had not ordered any evacuation of staff or their families as of Friday.
Some European embassies and international organisations have not updated their risk assessments or travel advisories for Nigeria.
"We have no crisis to manage, we are managing the panic," a senior security manager with an international organisation based in Abuja told AFP news agency, asking to remain anonymous.
"We don't know what the motive is (behind the US evacuation). We are taking some precautionary measures/actions, but activities are normal," he added.
READ MORE: Panic in Nigeria's capital after US, UK issue security alerts
Insecurity in Nigeria
On Thursday, Jabi Lake Mall, a major shopping centre in Abuja was temporarily shut down for unspecified security reasons.
Nigeria's military is stretched thin, with soldiers deployed throughout most of the West African nation of some 200 million people.
The last time a militant group -- Boko Haram -- attacked the city centre was in 2014.
In addition to the ongoing terrorism threat, the capital is also surrounded by states with rampant banditry -- gangs of gunmen who kidnap and kill with no ideological motivation.
Analysts have warned that insecurity could worsen with the start of political campaigning for the general election to replace Buhari next year.
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