Troops of OPERATION AWATSE, a Defence Headquarters Operations aimed curbing pipeline vandalism, crude oil and petroleum product theft, anti-kidnapping, anti-robbery, anti-cultism have successfully dislodged pipeline Vandals at Atlas Cove and its environs.
This operations which mandate also include curbing other criminal activities that would impact negatively on the security of Lagos and Ogun; particularly Epe and Ogun waterside entails the protection of the critical NNPC pipelines, within the Right Off Way from Atlas Cove to Mosomi were billions of naira has been lost to the activities of pipeline vandals.
The Press statement made available to Consumer News reads in part, “You will agree with me that OPERATION AWATSE in the past had engaged in series of operations within the same corridor with huge seizures of various petroleum related materials from criminals. After several considerations and consultations, the DHQ deemed it necessary to embark on a surgical operation in order to sanitize the entire Atlas Cove and environs of all forms of criminality.
” Specifically, from the early hours of Saturday 21 December 2019 till date, troops of Operations AWATSE are engaged in surgical operation to dislodge pipelines vandals from NNPC facility at ATLAS Cove and environs in Lagos. The NNPC facility is a strategic national infrastructure for reception of refined petroleum products for distribution across the county. During the raid, devices which include fabricated pipes and multiple hoses connected to the NNPC pipelines to illegally siphon petrol were discovered over 300 points along the pipelines and were subsequently dismantled”
The statement read further, “It is instructive to note that during the raid, some foreigners were also found on the Islands without any form of documentations. Interrogations of dwellers by troops further revealed that vandals collude with these miscreants to export these stolen products to neighbouring countries thereby short changing Nigeria. In view of these atrocities, it became expedient to identify these illegal structures so as to sanitize the entire island of these mischief makers”.
Listing the ares and structures targeted for demolition in the area, the statement enumerated areas indicated a total of over 200 illegal structures (Shanties). Areas already surveyed for ongoing demolition include; Old Akinbo – 12 structures, Aditu–5 structures, Phase 2 – 17 structures, Ikate – 22 structures, Upstairs 5 structures, Virgin Land- 3 structures, White House – 3 structures, Akaraba – 62 structures and Idi Mangoro – 28 structures. Others are Waterside – 19 structures, Ilado – 57 structures, Robert – 13 structures, Abule Glass – 21 structures, Ilashe – 37 structures. So far destroyed are 462 illegal structures, 150 thousand empty jerry cans discovered, over 5 thousand jerry cans with PMS confiscated, 310 discovered well/pits with PMS and 21 canoes and 2 boats.
It however reassures the legitimate residents of the Islands that on no reason will troops of Operation AWATSE unduly harass or intimidate anyone as they are there to carry out the Mandate of the Operation using its Standing Operating Procedure and Rules of Engagement as guide. It further enjoined law abiding citizens to cooperate with the troops to rid criminals from the islands for the benefit of inhabitants of the place and for a safer environment.
The statement conclude thus, “members of the general public and indeed law abiding citizens especially in Lagos and Ogun states are advised to go about their lawful business and are enjoined to promptly report any infractions by criminals to the Operation’s Headquarters for prompt actions. OPERATION AWATSE will continue with the ongoing operations to destroy the capacity of pipelines vandals to disrupt the distribution of petroleum products by NNPC.”