· We will wipe them out —Navy
Some of the dislodged militants in Isawo, Igbo Olomu and Arepo, Ibafo and Awawa creeks in Lagos and Ogun states are reportedly sneaking into the communities.
The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), on Saturday, said reports at its disposal revealed that the fear of return of the militants expressed by the residents was justified.
This came as the Nigerian Air Force continued its onslaught against the militants.
A resident of one of the communities, who spoke with the Sunday Tribune on condition of anonymity, disclosed that some of the militants were hiding in the houses of their kinsmen, who are residents in the area.
OPC national coordinator, Chief Gani Adams, told Sunday Tribune that reports at his disposal indicated that the militants were sneaking into the communities.
He urged the residents to be at alert and report any suspicious movement and faces to the OPC members in their communities.
“We are collaborating with the police and other security agencies.
“From our reports, we gathered that the militants are into this heinous crime because they cannot siphon petrol since the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has stopped supplying the product through the Atlas Cove.”
Adams added: “We found out that these men are not the real Niger Delta militants. They are the Ijaws from Ondo State, who came to Arepo and other communities to vandalise petroleum pipelines and steal fuel.
“We have held a meeting of the National Coordinating Council of OPC where we analysed how they are sneaking into the homes of some of their people in the area,” Adams said.
The OPC chief said the group decided to complement the air raids of the military by ensuring that whoever escapes from the creek is not allowed into the communities.
Dare, a resident of Igbo Olomu, told Sunday Tribune that: “the bombing has continued since Friday. There has been serious shooting since morning.”
He added: “We found out that some of these militants have their friends, who give them information on happenings in this area.”
But the director of information for Operation Awatse, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, while speaking to Sunday Tribune on telephone, on Saturday, assured residents that the clampdown on the militants would continue until they were wiped out.
“It is a continuous exercise. Nobody is going to say how long it will last until the criminals are entirely rooted out of the area. So, it is a non-stop operation.
“The exercise is a continuous exercise in the area until the criminals are completely wiped out,” he said.
According to him, the group carrying out the operation is quite different from that of the South-South and that no one can say when the operation will end.