Many people were feared dead, yesterday, as the Military commenced bombardment of Iroko creeks in Arepo area of Ogun State, suspected to be inhabited by militants. This is just as gunmen, suspected to be militants, stormed Isawo area of Ikorodu, Lagos, and abducted a man identified simply as Hyginius. The bombardment, it was gathered, was carried out by the Military and police but it was not clear, last night, if those killed included civilians living around the creeks. Details of the operation, said to have lasted 20 minutes, was sketchy at press time. But unconfirmed report had it that several lives were lost with about 30 houses destroyed. It was gathered that some helicopters were sighted hovering around the creeks at about 5.30p.m., followed by sporadic gunshots, which jolted the militants. Some of them were said to have hid inside the river. Residents of Elepete area, who apparently thought it was another attack from militants, scampered for safety.
Police sources said “it was a joint operation.” It was gathered that the helicopters deployed in the operation were of the Air Force, while personnel of the three forces, comprising the Army Navy and Air Force and Police were on board the boats that combed the creeks. A source said: “These militants are responsible for the attacks on residents at Elepete and Igbolomu areas of Ikorodu. It is an ongoing operation.” A resident, Nmadu Chionye, said: “We heard the gunshots and took cover. But when we contacted the security men, they told us they were in charge. We learned several persons were killed, but none can tell the exact number.”
Effort to get the reactions of the military and police failed as they kept mum. However, a senior Army officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “It is too early to speak on such sensitive exercise. You will be briefed at the appropriate time please. There is no cause to panic.”