A mop up operation carried out by the military in the Isawo and Igbo Olomu creeks in Ikorodu, Lagos state on Wednesday discovered no fewer than 95 arms and ammunition.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim on Thursday visited Isawo and Igbo Olomu communities to see the joint operation going on.
According to The Punch the operation code-named Operation Awassa, and headed by Lt. Col. Julius Ogbobe, found the arms in camps destroyed by the Nigerian Air Force and other camps abandoned by the militants.
Other items found during the mop up by the soldiers were, the Independent National Electoral Commission’s voter cards, an Ecobank withdrawal booklet, deposit slips of FCMB, mobile policemen badges, and mobile police uniforms.
Reports say that 11 suspected militants had been arrested since the military intensified its activities in the last one week.
Ogbobe, who noted that the operation had challenges moving into some parts of the creeks, was, however, silent on the corpses recovered.
He said, “In the last 24 hours, we recovered eight locally-made guns, 33 live cartridges, two mobile policemen’s uniforms, one AK-47 fully loaded magazine and one GPMG gun. We also recovered two laptops, two generators, a pair of handcuffs, two mobile policemen badges, INEC voter cards, FCMB deposit slips and an Ecobank withdrawal booklet.
“We want to find out who the depositors and the owners of the phone numbers on the slips are. There are parts of the creeks which are inaccessible. We call on the state government to assist in bringing cutting machines to clear some parts of the creeks.”
Ogbobe said the operation was extended to the Arepo creek in Ogun State in an operation code-named Target Alpha where the soldiers picked up more arms.
The IG, Ibrahim, who met with the elders of Isawo community briefly, encouraged residents to work with the police and other security agencies in fighting the militants to a standstill.
He said, “Security is everybody’s business. It is not everywhere you see a policeman or a soldier. If you see any bad person, you report to us. I want to thank all of you for the cooperation and the support you are giving us.
“I urge residents to cooperate with the police by providing us with information on the activities of criminal elements within their vicinity. I want to encourage residents to support the police activities in the area.
“Every one of us has a responsibility to move the nation forward. I thank you for your cooperation and support to ensure that peace returns to the community.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said, on Thursday, that the troops involved in the ongoing Operation Awatse at Arepo had profiled the 11 suspected vandals now in the custody of the military.
Abubakar said the defence authorities had put in place elaborate measures to ensure that some of the vandals who were on the run were apprehended.
He said, “The operation is ongoing. This is a gang now, that is why we are there, the ground troops are there now, and we will continue to dominate that general area to as far as Tungezi Island. Definitely, they will react, it is a few of them that remain.
“But definitely, they cannot go far because we have cordoned off all the areas and we have established all necessary machineries, all necessary checkpoints to ensure that the fleeing vandals are apprehended.
“As you know, they are on the run. See what we are having now in terms of materials, the things that they abandoned, over 1,000 facilities were captured and the equipment they used in siphoning fuel. We have got a lot of equipment and facilities they are using to perpetrate their crime.
“So far, many of them were arrested in the place. As of yesterday, 11 of them were arrested after we profiled them. Eleven are in our custody and a lot of equipment and facilities they used in siphoning their fuel were recovered.”
He said the vandals operated at Arepo as a well organised syndicate with different people supplying equipment and loading the stolen fuel.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.