The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, says the simulated terrorists attack on the Moshood Abiola National stadium, Abuja is to prepare relevant agencies for coordinated emergency response.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise held on Wednesday.
Mustapha Ahmed, the Director-General of NEMA said this in an interview with newsmen at the event organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, with planning and assistance from the U.S. and UK.
NAN reports that the exercise code named “Idahun Kankan’’ Yoruba words meaning (Quick Response) saw a simulated bomb attacks and marauding gunfire in the stadium while a match was going on.
The simulated attacks left many spectators feigned maimed, wounded and others scampering for safety and escape.
Following notification, an incident command post was set up with anti-terrorism squad moving in to cordon-off the area and counter-attack the terrorists while rescue teams moved in after the attackers were subdued.
Ahmed said the simulation had all government agencies involved in crisis management come together for a successful rescue operation.
“In real life situation, we don’t have this kind of response.
“We have our security forces even exchanging fire among themselves in times of emergencies such as this
“With this kind of exercise, we are training officers and men from Armed Forces, Police, FRSC, Civil Defence, Fire Service, NEMA and other agencies how to work together seamlessly.
“This is exactly what we want to achieve so that we can have less casualties when emergencies like this occur,’’ he said.
The Director of the exercise, Commodore Adefemi Kayode said the exercise was held in order to practice the National Crisis Management Doctrine already signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Kayode, the Director, Presidential Cummunication Command and Control Centre, PC4, said the Doctrine was a document endorsed by the Federal Government on how to respond to emergency and crisis situation.
“We noticed that whenever there is crisis in Nigeria, the number of casualty is usually large because Nigerians are not used to how to respond to crisis.
“Crisis response involve all the sectors, it is a whole of government and society approach.
“The NSA, therefore, thought it wise that we should have a document that will serve as a guide for the MDAs on how to cooperatively respond to crisis,’’ he said.
Mr Kayode said the National Crisis Management Doctrine was put together by his office with the support of the British High Commission and the U.S. Embassy.
Mr Kayode who expressed satisfaction with the exercise said it would be taken to the states and local government areas where more people would be involved.
He said about 2,000 men had been trained so far and they would continue to train more officers and men from relevant agencies.
Julian Pirkis, a retired Colonel and technical partner of the exercise from the British High Commission said he was happy with the progress made by the team.
“I am happy with the team here and their performances and the UK is delighted in supporting the project.
“Even in the UK, we learn through regular practice believing that things get better by each practice.
“This is a unique opportunity for all the agencies to show how far they can perform,’’ he said.
Similarly, Douglas Black, the Technical Partner from the U.S. Embassy said with the training, Nigeria had made significant improvement in crisis management.
NAN reports the exercise witnessed sporadic gunfire, simulated bomb explosion and burning of vehicles with people feigned wounded, maimed and dead.
NAN also reports that after the football scenario, another simulation was held at the Abuja Metro station where a radioactive attack and rescue mission on passengers was carried out.
It was such that while a train was moving into the station, passengers were seen exhibiting symptoms of chemicals and radioactive materials.
When the information was passed to incident command, a team moved in and set up an incident command post from where they cordon off the area.
Subsequently, all the agencies responsible for radioactive materials moved in, i0with their gadgets to rescue the people.