Lagos - The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday in
Lagos said it impounded over 2,000 gallons of petroleum products from some
suspected vandals' hideout at Majidun in Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The products, which were concealed in 50 litres jerry cans were
lifted from the hideout by the Navy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that men of the
Nigerian Army and other security agencies assisted the Navy in the operation.
The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Adm.
Ilesanmi Alade, told newsmen that the operation, which took his men sleepless
nights, was carried out following a tip-off from the public.
He said: "as you may be aware the Federal Government has
been confronted with the challenges of combating illegal oil bunkering and pipeline
Also read: Petroleum agency wary of fake trade authorisation letters
"These illegal activities have not only led to significant
loss in revenue accruable to the Federal Government, but also cause damage to
strategic installations which require colossal amount of money to repair.
"Pipeline vandalism has also led to pollution of the
maritime environment and in some cases, fire disasters resulting in loss of
lives and property.
"Communities like Majidun, Arepo, Ogolonto and Makoko in
Ikorodu Local Government area of Lagos State are renowned for illegal oil bunkering
and pipeline vandalism.
"The perpetrators use self-propelled barges and wooden
boats to ferry the stolen products to their destinations.
"They are also usually armed to confront anyone that
attempts to stop their operation.’’
Alade said the operation, code-named "AWATSE" which
literally means SCATTER, was aimed at dislodging the perpetrators of the
"The operation was initiated by the Nigerian Navy and
supported by the Nigerian Army and it is still ongoing.
"The operation has yielded success and so far; persons
arrested after interrogation and confirmed as culprits, would be handed over to
the appropriate prosecuting agency.
"The products will be handed over to the Pipeline and
Products Marketing Company (PPMC) for storage, pending termination of the
operation,’’ he said.
The Naval chief said that on completion of the operation,
the Navy would consider establishing a base in the area.
He appealed to residents of Majidun to be patient and
assured them that the operation would soon be over.
"Whatever we are doing here is also in the interest of the
residents of Majidun and the economic survival of the nation,’’ he said.
Alade also appealed to the public to provide the Navy with
useful information to assist it in apprehending the perpetrators.
He said that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Usman
Jibrin, had zero tolerance for maritime crimes in the country.
A resident of the area, Mrs Kafaya told newsmen that she was
aware oil bunkering was taken place in the area but did not know it was
Another resident, Mr Kazeem Ariyo, commended the Navy saying
its men had done 'a good job.'