The Nigerian Army has said the current onslaught against oil thieves and militants in the creeks of Lagos and Ogun communities, is not war against the Ijaw nation as being speculated in some quarters.
The Spokesman of the Defence Headquarters, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, while reacting to the insinuations, said, the war against militants is not tagged.
“We are not carrying out military attack on Ijaw”, he said.
He declared that no innocent resident, since the onslaught started on Thursday, has been hit by the air raid.
Abubakar said: “There is no way innocent persons would be hit because what we are doing is ‘precision attack on registered target or identified location’.
“No innocent Nigerian was hit. The attack is on the criminals who hide in the creeks.
“We are still carrying out the raid. We are not carrying out military attack on Ijaw.
“We are carrying out the operation against criminals. We don’t tag them.
“Militants are militants. We don’t want to know if they are Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba.
“Our war is against pipeline vandals and oil thieves,” he said.
Meanwhile, the war against the militants, who have been terrorising Lagos and Ogun creeks, is raging, it was gathered on Monday morning.
This is evident in the continued bombardment of their hideouts by government troops as what started like a one-off operation on Thursday entered day five on Monday.
The ongoing operation involves Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Police Force.
Deploying aerial and land arsenals, the military has dealt severe blows to the criminals that have long engaged in vices like pipeline vandalism, robbery, murder, rape and kidnapping, with reports says tbat many militants have been killed while others smoked out.
On Sunday, troops rained more shelling on Ishawo, Igando and Igbolomu areas of Ikorodu in Lagos State, and Arepo, Awawa, Elepete and Ibafo in Ogun State.
Also, as at Sunday morning, the operatives of the DSS were said to have been able to track the petrol stations that were being supplied with the stolen products, with some of them said to be on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 19 suspected militants have been arrested by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in the ongoing aerial bombardment of creeks in the Fatola and Arepo areas of Ogun State.
It was gathered that some of the suspects were apprehended while fleeing from their camps being shelled by the Nigerian military.
It was learnt that while the operation continued, operatives, comprising the police, NSCDC, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Army mounted roadblocks at strategic places that could be used as escape routes by the militants.
An official of the NSCDC, Lagos State Command, who participated in the operations, said that 19 militants were in the corps’ custody.
He said, “Nineteen militants were arrested around the Ishawo, Igbo Olomu and Elepete areas of Ikorodu on Sunday. Some of them were caught after fleeing from the areas being bombarded while others were arrested based on information by residents. NSCDC officials from Ondo, Ogun and Oyo states are with us. We are about 150. The bombardment is still on.”
The spokesperson for the NSCDC, Lagos State Command, Kehinde Bada, confirmed the arrest, adding that investigation was ongoing.