Militants Terrorising Lagos/Ogun On The Run...19 Nabbed As Jets Bombard Creeks

Pilots of the Nigerian Air Force fighter jets have destroyed four major camps of suspected militants, who are said to be armed pipeline vandals at Arepo between Lagos and Ogun states, on the fourth day of the sustained aerial attacks on the hoodlums in the area.

The Director of Information and Public Relations of the NAF, Group Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa, told Punch on the telephone on Sunday that the NAF was intensifying aerial operations during the day and the night to dislodge the militants terrorising riverside communities in the states.

Famuyiwa said the NAF was carrying out sustained operations against the vandals to prepare the stage for the ground troops to move in and get rid of the gunmen.

Investigation revealed that the fighter pilots of the NAF had carried out successful strikes on the two major camps in Fatola, Abuja and two other areas.

Famuyiwa said the embattled militants were fleeing their fortress into the mangrove forest and were being monitored effectively by platforms deployed for the operation.

The Air Force spokesman explained said they had carried out surveillance activities on the hoodlums to gather the necessary information about their activities before the commencement of the current aerial bombardments.

He said the fighter pilots were using rockets against the vandals because they built their tents on pipelines, which made it difficult to use bombs in the operation.

Famuyiwa stated that bombs; “So, for now, it is just the Air Force that is operating in that area. We started with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance basically, to gather information about the position of those people, how fortified are they, and to look into the things that they are doing.

“After that survey, we have been able to identify targets to be eliminated. The first strike was conducted on Thursday. We struck at their camps and the whole essence is to take them up so that we can dislodge them from that area pending the time that the surface forces would be able to come in.

“So, every day, we have been striking and we are doing both night and day operation. There are about four camps that have been identified, that we have struck.

“The challenge is that you need to be able to match your targets with your weapons. Don’t forget that those idiots built their tents on the pipelines. It appears that it is not something that started today, it is something that has been on for years.’’

He added, “When we hit those camps, they are now moving deeper into the forest. So we cannot say that you can just dislodge them for a while, they might want to come back. So what we are doing is that we have intensified our surveillance activities to bomb them deep into the mangrove forest.

“Like I said, they are very crafty people, they have built their camps, on the pipelines to be able siphon fuel. So, what we are doing is to use rockets to fire at them; you can get some level of destruction of the tents but you may not destroy the tents completely, but you can be sure that any human element that is there, it is going to kill them.”

Famuyiwa explained further that video clips from the aerial offensive against the militants showed that they were well armed and very organised.

According to him, they had GPMG mounted on canoes on their observation posts, which showed that they had been involved in the act of sabotage for long. But government is determined to finish them.