Military Moves To Flush Out Militants, Kidnappers In Lagos

The Nigerian military on Thursday launched an exercise codenamed Jagunlabi to flush out kidnappers, armed robbers and militants from Lagos.

The exercise, an offshoot of Operation AWATSE, was inaugurated at Majidun in Ikorodu and covered all Lagos back waters and hinterlands.

Declaring the exercise open, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah said the military was bent on sustaining the peace achieved within Lagos waters.

He said the military was aware that most criminals who operate within Lagos waters come from the Niger Delta region, adding that a joint operation would be undertaken between Operations AWATSE and Delta Safe to smoke the miscreants out.

At the flag off of the exercise were the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Maj. Gen. Peter Dauke, Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Ibrahim Yahaya, Commander Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Rear Admiral Maurice Eno and other senior officers.

Gunboats were deployed from the Majidun River bank to patrol Ebute Waterside, Ibeshe and Oworonsoki general area.

On land, the troops embarked on a show of force to Ikorodu garage roundabout, Ibeshe junction, Ibeshe Ilaje, Imota and Ishawo before returning to the naval outpost at Majidun.

Abbah said: “The three arms of the military are pulling resources together to tackle the menace of pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft and other criminalities.

“Operation AWATSE has been an ongoing operation and if you are in Lagos, I think this is the most peaceful festive period you have ever had.

“We have been working tirelessly. Before now, you know the criminals have been carrying out their nefarious act at the high seas; which is sea robbery.

“Although Lagos by itself is a peaceful place but the criminals come from elsewhere. For instance the last attack that happened on Lagos waters, we have arrested some of them and all of them are not from Lagos.

“The five of them that are in our custody are not from Lagos but have their accomplices in Lagos who give them information.

“Lagos is the hub of all activities. Anybody you kidnap in Lagos, you know that ransom can be handsomely paid so they plan their operation to operate in Lagos. However, we are not resting on our oars to tackle this.

“Nobody came around to kidnap this period and we have to commend the soldiers because they are working very hard to ensure everything is fine.

“This is a continuous exercise. We came here to meet and interact with the soldiers. We want them to share their problems and we will also address them.”