GOC Task Troops To Flush Out Criminal Elements In Lagos

…as he flags off Exercise STILL WATER at Ojota

By: Okosun Dennis

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Obinna Ajunwa has mandated troops of the Division to flush out criminal gangs and secure Lagos State and its environs.

However, he warned the troops not to be distracted or engage in acts that would disparage the army while carrying out the operation. Instead, he urged them to follow due process as any form of laxity and indiscipline must be severely punished.

Gen Ajunwa spoke on Tuesday, 18th October, 2022 at Foru, Ikorodu Road, Ojota shortly before he officially flagged off Exercise STILL WATER 2022, after the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya had flagged off three exercises that will run concurrently in Port Harcourt.

Addressing troops of 9 Brigade and personnel from other sister agencies, the GOC called for mutual cooperation as sister agencies are going to bring their expertise that would make the exercise seamless and less laborious.

“The objective of the exercise, he observed among others; is to reduce to the barest minimum the prevailing security threats in the riverine environment such as piracy, illegal oil bunkering activities, pipeline vandalism, cultism, militancy, terrorism, and some other common sundry crimes.

He reminded the troops that “This is an electioneering campaign period and for the fact that you are outside is not enough to fraternize with politicians but provide safety and security to the people.

The intelligence-driven exercise, would invariably dovetail into real-time operations in case of any potential threat.

Gen Ajunwa explained further, “Approach the operation with seriousness and be professional. Your task is to secure Lagos and environs. This is a built up area and don’t be distracted and don’t commit any offence. Your weapon handling must be perfect as professional soldiers.

“You must follow due process in carrying out the exercise as any form of laxity and indiscipline will be punished and don’t do anything that would bring the army into disrepute.

Gen Ajunwa assured that the waterways would also be secured because there would be military gunboats on patrol and soldiers would be deployed to water banks and jetties across Ogun and Lagos States.

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In his brief, the Commander 9 Brigade, Brigadier General Isangubong Akpamoutia made a shocking revelation that some parts of Lagos have been facing rumoured threats and attempts by bandits and terrorists to launch an attack on the state.

With Exercise STILL WATER, he reiterated, such criminal activities would be curtailed such as militants, bandits, armed robbers, cyber criminals, cultists, hoodlums and illegal oil bunkerers in Lagos and its environs.

“There have been reports of criminal activities in some part of Lagos and a rumoured attempt by fleeing bandits and terrorists to attack the economic nerve centre of the country.

“Similarly, there were frequent reports of Cult groups attempting takeover of many communities such as Oworonshoki, Surulere, Apapa, Mushin, Ikorodu and Ajao Estate areas amongst others.

“Despite the efforts of security agencies, these criminal elements have continued to engage in kidnapping, armed banditry, militancy, armed robbery, cultism and other violent criminalities in the city.”

Reiterating, Gen Akpamoutia restated that in view of the avalanche of criminal activities, the Brigade was tasked to conduct Ex STILL WATER to deal with the nuisance value of the criminal activities as we approach the Yuletide period.

Highpoint of the flag off was a guided tour by the Gen Ajunwa and other guests around the Exercise area, before the symbolic flag-off of the Exercise.

Also embedded as part of the operation, was a Medical Outreach at the Ojota Motor Park were about 500 Lagosians were taken through free diagnosis, free eyes glasses, dental and oral hygiene, test for malaria and typhoid fever as well as free drugs.

Ex STILL WATER was formally known as Ex CROCODILE SMILE and is designed to practice the troops in aspects of Counter-Terrorist and Counter-Insurgency Operation in Lagos State from 14 Oct — 23 Dec 22.

Present were the 81 Division Garrison Commander, Brig Gen Musa Abubakar Sadiq, the Lagos State Commander, Man O’ War, Lucky William Onimowo; a representative of Oba of Ojota, Chief Moshood Sanusi and other guests.

Post Author: Friday Ekeoba