The police yesterday assured residents of the nation’s commercial nerve centre of Lagos that the fears of an attack on the city by militants, especially the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), were unfounded.
The militants are behind the renewed attacks on pipelines and oil platforms in the Niger Delta – activities that have dipped Nigeria’s 2.2million barrels of crude per day production to about 900,000.
Fears were rife that the group’s threat to extend its attacks to Lagos were to be carried out. But Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni said the city is safe.
He described as a “mere rumour” the insinuation that the NDA was planning to bomb the Ikorodu Police Station, the Atlas Cove, the Third Mainland Bridge and other targets.
A huge deployment of policemen in Ikorodu also reinforced the rumour that an attack was likely.
But Owoseni, who assured residents of their safety, said security agencies have been on their toes to avert any such threat.
He added that police officers were stationed at Ikorodu because there was an ongoing operation in the town to dislodge criminals.
Owoseni said: “Just as you heard it as a rumour, so I also heard it as a rumour. It is a mere rumour and there is no truth in the rumour. It is just like the rumour we received that the Third Mainland Bridge will be no more on May 29.
“Here we are, the Third Mainland Bridge is still standing. Reports we got about Ikorodu are cases of cultists and the police have arrested about 200 suspects. They are being screened.
Security agents are on their toes there. There is overwhelming presence of policemen because there is a tactical operation going on there since last week.
“Ikorodu has been sectioned into four tactical operations points, which are manned between 5am and 9pm.
“In fact, the report at our disposal now is that some of the militants who used the waterways to commit heinous crimes, like kidnapping and armed robbery have been relocating.
“There is no threat of bombing of a police station at Ikorodu. However, plain-clothe policemen, officials of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) are on ground and on top of the situation. People should be careful where they go,” he said.