The United States and the United Kingdom missions in Nigeria had, on Sunday, issued separate advisories warning of an imminent security threat on Abuja.
They advised citizens of their countries to avoid Abuja except for essential services.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, the State Security Service (SSS) advised residents to be calm but take precautions.
“While advising that necessary precautions are taken by all and sundry, the populace is enjoined to remain alert and assist security agencies with useful information regarding threats and suspicious criminal acts around them,” Mr Afunanya said.
The federal government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has expressed strong disapproval of the unverified security alert recently issued on Nigeria by certain embassies in the country.
He condemned the act on Tuesday in Abuja at a ministerial panel of the on-going UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Week. The minister also criticised some local media outlets and social media for spreading the security alerts without verifying its authenticity and consequences.
Mr Mohammed was a panellist at the UNESCO session with the topic, “National Media and Information Literacy Frameworks, Sustaining Beyond Disinformation’’ moderated by Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director-General Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO.
Other discussants on the panel included Communication and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Pantami; Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah and UK Minister of Tech and Digital Economy, Damian Collins, who participated virtually.
In his presentation, Mohammed said the warning issued by the embassies, which was not the true position of the security situation in the country, could create unnecessary tension and panic.
“Some media outlets and social media personalities are usually caught spreading unverified information on their platforms just for click bait and the attendant monetary gain.
“Talking of click bait, this may be what informed the spread of the supposed security alert issued recently by some foreign embassies in Nigeria.
“One would imagine that if indeed this kind of security alert was issued, it was for the attention of citizens of the issuing countries in Nigeria.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians not to panic but to be alert at all times.