The Nigerian military has continued its clearance of vandals and suspected militants in Arepo and its environs, following five days of intense aerial attack by the Nigerian Air Force.
The military commenced a ground assault against the suspected militants.
Investigation revealed that the Special Boat Service (SBS) of the Nigerian Navy led the ground assault against the vandals by 3pm on Tuesday.
The SBS is a special operations unit of the Nigerian Navy comprising only male commandos whose roles include “Reconnaissance and Surveillance, covert beach reconnaissance in advance of an amphibious assault, recovery or protection of ships and oil installations subject to hostile state or non-state action, Maritime Counter-Terrorism and offensive Action.”
It was gathered that men of the SBS moved into the forest and destroyed the remains of the militants’ camps as well as jerry cans and other tools used for stealing fuel.
Army personnel belonging to ‘Operation Awatse’ were also involved in the clearance, providing tight security on the land area.
Investigation revealed that several soldiers, policemen and the men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were deployed in the area to prevent any surprise attack by the armed vandals.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, confirmed the commencement of the ground action against the vandals.
Abubakar said that some of the vandals fled Arepo to Tongeji, an island off the coast of Badagary, where they were said to have held a meeting.
He said that some of the hoodlums also fled to Snake Island, adding that efforts were ongoing to track them.
When asked to confirm if ground troops had moved into Arepo, Abubakar said, “That operation is a continuous one. Some of them fled to Tongeji Island where they had a meeting and Snake Island, off the general area of Arepo.
“That is where they are moving to but we are able to block the general area of Arepo.
“We are mounting all round defence surveillance to ensure that those who sneaked into the place are arrested and denied free movement or regrouping.
“You know other security agencies are involved like the civil defence, the police and you know, it has been a joint one.
“So, each of the security agencies is giving its own expertise and knowledge to ensure that those who might have escaped are apprehended to deny them from regrouping and causing unnecessary havoc again.”