08 October 2014, Lagos – There were indications, Tuesday, that community leaders in Ikorodu area of Lagos and landlords connived with hoodlums to vandalise Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pipelines.
Vanguard gathered that several of the jerrycans recovered by the Nigerian Navy, with the support of the Nigerian Army, in an ongoing raid of the area, were in the houses of residents.
Following this startling discovery, the Navy disclosed plans to establish a naval base in the area to sustain the onslaught against pipeline vandals.
The Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ilesanmi Alade, gave a stern warning to vandals, their patrons and residents of the area, to desist from the act or have themselves to blame.
Displaying the over 5,000 jerrycans loaded with siphoned products before newsmen, Alade disclosed that several wooden boats, commonly known as Cotonou, were destroyed in the creeks.
He explained that the operation, code named Awase, meaning scatter in Hausa, was carried out with the support of the Nigerian Army, following a directive from the Naval High Command.
However, the over 100 suspects were not paraded as Alade hinted that investigation into their culpability was still ongoing.
Preliminary investigation, according to him, revealed that illegal activities of vandals had been going on in the area for close to 15 years, a situation he lamented had not only resulted in the loss of human lives but also wreaked havoc on strategic installations and polluted the environment.
The recovered petroleum products were thereafter handed over to NNPC Area Manager in charge of Mosimi Depot, Mr. Remi Eluyefa.
– Evelyn Usman, Vanguard