Dayo Johnson – Akure
Ahead of the next Saturday governorship election in Ondo State, Military and Paramilitary Security Agencies in the state have destroyed militant camps in the riverine Ilaje and Ese-Odo council areas of the state to ensure violent free poll
The destruction of the camp was carried out during an operation code name “Operation Show of Force” by a combined team of Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Immigration Services, the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Speaking with newsmen, the Brigade Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Zakari Abubakar, said the operation, was to warn hoodlums on the waterways that the security agencies were combat-ready to ensure that the coming election was violence-free.
The destruction of the camp which started at Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State, spanned through Atijere, Abereke, Agadagba, Obolowo, Aserebobo, Arogbo, Dioba among others in the coastal areas of the state.
Abubakar said: Our men have gone for Show of Force. It means telling hoodlums and militants that are on the creek and want to take undue advantage to cause trouble that we are ready.
“The purpose of today’s exercise was to get prepared for the October 10 gubernatorial election.
“We want to ensure that the election is free and peaceful and make sure that hoodlums don’t interfere.
“The places visited lead to Delta and Ogun States and they will be coming. But I want to assure you that whenever they come from, we will give them blocking force.”
He however advised hoodlums on the waterways to shun all forms of violence and intimidation before, during, and after the election.
According to him, the military was aware of several camps that are springing up on the waterways.
He said that the exercise was able to destroy one hideout of hoodlums at Asere.
He enjoined prospective voters not to exercise any fear but come out and vote just as he assured them that the security agencies would protect and provide a conducive environment for them.
Similarly, Capt. Mohammed Ahmed, the Commanding Officer of the Forward Operation Base (FOB) of Nigerian Navy, Igbokoda, explained that the exercise was continuous readiness to secure the waterways from any criminal activities especially when the state gubernatorial poll was approaching.
Ahmed said that ” It is to assure people that we are always there to secure the environment for them and inform hoodlums that we are watching because security agents are ready and it was a successful exercise.”