No fewer than 100 people suspected to be militants have been reportedly killed by the Nigerian military on Saturday July 30th.
The raid is part of the aerial bombardment of Fatola, the base of militants and pipeline vandals in the Arepo area of Ogun State.
An eyewitness confirmed that the attack which started at about 12pm lasted for 30 minutes and at least eight missiles were fired by a fighter jet, which flew across the creek at intervals while another aircraft was observed hovering around the area.
Residents, who were caught unawares, ran for their safety due to the ground-shaking effects of the missiles.
A resident who was on the road when the shots were fired said the Saturday attack was more intense than previous air raids.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, she said:
The air raid started on Thursday evening. It was just a missile that was released, but the effect was serious. On Friday evening, another airplane which flew across the creek released gunfire which lasted for some minutes. I could hear the shots as if they were fired close at me. But the Thursday and Friday attacks were child’s play compared with that of today (Saturday). The aircraft releasing the missiles had three short wings with a sharp mouth. It maintained a visible presence in the sky and anytime it wanted to fire, it flew down as if it was about to crash. I never knew the military had such a weapon.
Another resident, who also begged not to be named said that he lay flat in his apartment during the Saturday attack.
I was alone in the house with my son. The boy shook with fright every time a missile landed. I carried him and lay flat on the floor. The missiles shook the whole ground. I am not sure if I would continue to live here because of this. My landlord left with his family yesterday.
A source close to the millitants confided that the missiles levelled the base of the militants, adding that more than 100 people were killed.
The whole place has been levelled. From the information I just gathered, those killed today (Saturday) cannot be less than 100. I am aware that some of them (the militants) are presently in the waters where they are hiding. They are making calls and seeking escape routes from the place.
The joint operation will continue until the area is secure and free from all forms of unwanted and criminal gangs whether they are militants or vandals. No, we cannot confirm the exact casualty figure in the operation. There are so many camps, and we will continue to destroy them in that operation. We have taken some camps. The casualties cannot be confirmed but I know that we were able to target some of their camps and locations.
Said the acting Director of Defence Information, Brig-General Rabe Abubakar who confirmed the incident.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to forestall the spate of militants’ attacks, the Onijegun of Ijegun land in Lagos State, Oba Nureni Akinremi, on Friday convened a meeting at his palace to which they came to a resolution concerning the safety of residents.
A source disclosed:
We have agreed to engage members of the Oodua People’s Congress for the protection of the whole Ijegun against all the attacks that claimed lives in the community. We plan to hire 70 guards who would be deployed in various strategic points in the community. The guards are specifically meant to checkmate militants’ attacks but they will also be working with the existing security men in each CDA. We have budgeted N5m to ensure their smooth operations and they will start by Monday. People have made donations and contributions are on going in each CDA. We want to buy three buses and at least 10 motorcycles to aid their operations. We have already bought walkie talkie for them to communicate with one another and they are well armed. By God’s grace, the buses will be available on Monday. The operatives are a registered security organisation and they have their uniform and identity cards. Apart from that, we have resolved that from 12am till 5am, no okada rider will be allowed to operate in the community except there is an emergency. We also want to create awareness for all residents on the need to be security conscious. We are going to do this through distribution of pamphlets and announcements on radio stations. The abduction of the Oniba of Iba and attacks on communities in Lagos and Ogun states are very disturbing. That is why we are taking all these measures.