Following the killing of no fewer than 15 persons in Ogun State allegedly by suspected militants from the Niger Delta region, the State Commissioner of Police, Abdulmajid Ali, yesterday confirmed that the militants are desperately looking for a safe haven in the state.
The police chief, who spoke with newsmen in Abeokuta on phone said militants are apparently finding it difficult to operate in the Niger Delta region following increased military deployment to check their nefarious activities. Ali, who spoke against the backdrop of Friday’s invasion of Imushin community in Ogijo area of the state by suspected militants, warned that the development must not be treated with levity.
Over 100 militants, who stormed the community on Friday night, reportedly killed 15 people during a shooting spree that also left several persons injured and property destroyed. The commissioner, however, insisted that only three persons were killed when rampaging militants invaded Imushin community on Friday.
He said the heavy deployment of military in the region has promoted the militants to be breaking new grounds in order to continue to perpetrate oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering. He said the riverine areas of the Gateway State have thus become attractive to the militants, who carry out attacks from the creeks and rush back. Ali pointed out that the same militants had been behind the recent spate of pipeline vandalism and economic sabotage in the Arepo axis along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The commissioner said he had already reported the emerging security threat to the ‘highest authorities.’
“It’s not true that 15 people were killed there. The DPO Ogijo was on ground; he reported that only three people were killed and their bodies have been recovered from the scene,” Ali said. He argued that if adequate measures were not taken, the militant activities may snowball into insurgency. He added:
“The militants are finding it difficult in Niger Delta and Ikorodu area of Lagos State. They are now moving to our side in Ogun. They are the ones involved in kidnapping and sorts of crime.”
“These boys are becoming lawless. It is the same group that killed. NNPC officials, SSS and Navy officers in Arepo. They are responsible for lots of criminal activities in the area. Honestly, they should be treated like Boko Haram. “