The Force Headquarters of the police in Abuja has stopped an attempt to bomb the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos. The suspects were a deadly militant group operating from the rivulets of Ikorodu and Arepo areas of Lagos and Ogun states.
They would have attacked the bridge on November 30, but the information got to the media yesterday.
It was gathered that a top ‘commander’ of the group, Abiodun Amos, who is also known as Senti, an Ijaw native of Arugbo in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, who was also the group’s chief expert in explosives, was arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, (IRT), who traced him to a river bank at the Majidun area of Ikorodu, Lagos.
His arrest followed a tip-off.
Sources disclosed that two Ak47 rifles hidden in a ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag, was found on him at the time of his arrest. He led the IRT to a vehicle parked in Ikorodu, where a large cache of dynamite and detonators were recovered from the boot.
The Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) was said to have passed on the information to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, indicating that the group was at its final stage of carrying out the attack.
The IGP ordered the IRT led by Abba Kyari, an Assitant Commissioner of Police (ACP), to investigate.
Meanwhile in October 2016, the group which has no known identity and was notorious for pipeline vandalism, kidnapping and bank robberies, had demanded for amnesty, threatening to disrupt economy activities within Lagos and Ogun states if the Federal Government does not dialogue with them and award them pipeline protection contracts.
Leader of the militant group, known as General Ossy Ibori, who had allegedly coordinated most of the bank robberies and several high profile kidnappings, including that of three school girls, at Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in Ikorodu, four landlords at Isheri North Area of Lagos, Oniba of Ibaland, Oba Goriola Oseni and several others, boasted in an interview that his group has over 21 “generals” commanding 7,800 battle-ready boys.
The IRT operatives, while trailing the group made several arrests, one of them gave the police information to arrest Amos.
The 43-year-old suspect, confessed that his group was into the pipeline vandalism, but they resorted to kidnapping when it became difficult for them to vandalise and sell stolen fuel.
According to him, “we went into bank robberies and kidnappings because we wanted to get government’s attention and all we wanted was for them to grant us amnesty and also offer us pipeline protection contract. We have made several appeals and the government was not listening to us. General Ibori said if we don’t blow up the Third Mainland Bridge, government would not listen to us. We had concluded plans and we decided to carry out the attack by November 30. I am the group’s explosive expert and before I was arrested, we were going into the creeks to conclude plans on how to carry out the attack.”