The Lagos State police command, on Tuesday, declared that it was not handling the threat by the Niger Delta Avengers to bomb some parts of Lagos with levity.
This is just as the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasheun’s faction has waved the threat aside, saying bombing Lagos by any group of militants would be tartanmount to an ill wind that would blow no one any good.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, on Tuesday, the image maker in charge of the state police command, Dolapo Badmos, stated that the police, as part of the efforts to forestall any attack by the avengers, were beefing up security on not just the targeted places, but all over the state.
Badmos said: “We are beefing up security. The command is not treating the threat with kid’s gloves. The command has put strategies in place to ensure the continuos safety of the entire Lagos State.”
While reminding the militants that they also had brothers and sisters who resided and did businesses in Lagos, the OPC maintained that ‘’a good freedom fighter does not destroy the means of livelihood of his people.’
“Of what use will that be to their cause or grouse with the Federal Government? If they are able to cause such havoc or damage to the third mainland bridge, they forget that they have several thousands of their kith and kins in Lagos making use of the bridge daily and using it as an access to the source of their daily bread. Aside from that, many indigenes of the Niger Delta have houses on the Lagos Island and businesses on the mainland. A good and sensible freedom fighter does not destroy the means of livelihood of his people, hence what is the essence of his or her agitations.
While insisting that there was no basis for any Ijaw man or woman to want to create confusion in Lagos or other parts of the Southwest, the OPC cited the Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of which Ijaws, the Urhobos, Yoruba and many others from the South-South and North are adequately represented where the president, Dr Frederick Fasehun, is a prominent member representing not only the Yoruba, but also, the Oodua People’s Congress.
According to Lawal, if for whatever reason, the Ijaws have complaints against Yoruba or Lagos, such would have been tabled and discussed at the meeting of Conference of Ethnic Nationalities.
Reacting to the insinuation that the silence of the OPC and that of the Yoruba in the face of the Niger Delta threat was cowardly, the OPC leadership retorted: “From my earlier narratives, will any sensible person say we are cowardly or we are weak. Definitely not. Government security operatives that have had cause to engage us in an encounter years back will tell you the stuff we are made of. Because we have adopted a “Siddon Look” approach should and must not be taken as being lily-livered. Yoruba people don’t easily go into battle without convincing reasons and when we do, our antagonists are always convinced that we cannot be rubbished easily.”
However, despite the threat of the insurgents to bomb key places in Lagos, especially this bridge, security presence on the bridge has remained non-existent.
As at Monday, while the bridge from the Iyana Iworo, was unusually free, none of the policemen that normally stood at strategic points on the bridge in the last few weeks was not there.
But for the regular security arrangement, security was also relaxed around Eko Hotel.
At Sheraton Hotel, except for the obvious collapse of the two gates that served as the entrance and exit gates into one, the rule has not changed, as motorists were asked to open their vehicle bonnets and boots, with every other part of the car screened with bomb detector device.
Besides, guests into the hotel were asked to pass through the metal screening detector, installed at the entrance.