– The military and police speak out on the operation in Arepo against suspected militants
– The government is reportedly planning to sponsor death sentence bill against the hoodlums
– The Nigerian authorities also ask not to call the vandals Niger Delta militants
The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed the plans to sponsor death penalty bill against suspected militants and other vandals who attack oil and gas pipelines in the south-west, Vanguard reports.
This came as Nigerian Air Force continued aerial attacks on the camps of the vandals in Arepo, Enugu state.
Nigerian army and police authorities opened up on the prosecution of Operation Awathe in the south-western coast, pledging to stop the activities of vandals and militants who have terrorized the people of the area and vandalized critical state assets.
Abdulmajeed Ali, assistant of the IGP in Lagos state, defined vandals operating in Arepo and environs as criminals who would be treated as such.
This came as Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Osun state directed the destruction of boats, jerry cans and other facilities used and abandoned by suspected militants at Arepo area of the state.
Ali said: “Threats from pipeline vandals in Arepo area and its environs will soon be a thing of the past.”
The police chief, who spoke on resumption of duty in the Zone at Onikan in Lagos, said also that those operating at Arepo should not be called militants but vandals, underlining that plans are in top gear to urge government to sponsor a bill that will prescribe death penalty for the criminals.
He added: “ I do not consider those groups as militants. They are hoodlums. They are robbers, kidnappers in disguise. I have dealt with them before and I will continue to deal with them in their hideouts. We are trying to get the government prescribe capital punishment for them.
“I want to commend the Lagos state governor for the support given to the Nigeria police. I was impressed with all the equipment supplied by the government. We shall continue to work in the two commands and ensure security. I will start by declaring my vision of things that I will like to address and things that I will not tolerate.
“The only thing that is constant in life is change and change is inevitable, we should expect changes in all ramifications.
“It is crystal clear that based on the present security challenges in the two zones; there will be a need to have an overall policing strategy for effective security of lives and properties within the two zones.
“On issues of insecurity, I will continue to collaborate with the military and other security agencies, with a view to achieving the common goal. I detest terrorism, kidnapping, robbery and other vices. I consider them as murderers. I will also assure you that anyone caught in these acts will be brought to book.”
At least 114 vandals were killed and scores of others injured in attacks on their camps in Ogun and Lagos states.