OPC Joins Search for Kidnapped Army Officer


Chiemelie Ezeobi

Following the abduction of an officer of the Nigerian Army, one Lieutenant Gyang, who was abducted at the Ijedodo area of Abule Ado, Lagos, the O’odua People’s Congress (OPC) yesterday indicated interest to join the manhunt.

The group said their move was influenced by the continuous death of their members in the hands of the rampaging kidnappers, especially the two that were killed during the recent abduction attempt at Isheri North and a coordinator, Akeem Lawal that was injured by kidnappers.

It was gathered that the partnership is geared towards totally flushing out the kidnappers from the various creeks and mangroves in Lagos and Ogun States.

According to eyewitness accounts at the Ijedodo axis, over 20 armed militants had stormed the area and dragged the lieutenant into their speedboat after engaging the soldiers there in a gun duel.

Throughout the operation, sporadic gunshots were heard at Festac throughout Monday and in the early hours of yesterday forcing residents to remain indoors.

According to an eyewitness, Aidan Oluwole, a fisherman, he had noticed suspicious movements when he came to inspect his fishing net.

He said: “I was coming to inspect my fishing net when I noticed some suspicious movements. One speed boat was at the shore with a man pretending to be carrying out repairs on it.

“Then all of a sudden, I heard gunshots. As that was going on, I saw a soldier being dragged into the speed boat that I assumed was faulty and they sped off shooting.”

Already, operatives of Operation Awatse, a taskforce headed by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Fergusson Bobai, have since occupied various entry and exit points into the creeks, with a view to smoking them out.

Also, operatives of the army have since Monday evening commenced an onslaught on the kidnappers after its personnel was abducted.

Reacting to the development, Yinka Oguntimehin, spokesman for OPC factional leader, Gani Adams, stressed that the group has run out of patience and was ready to take the war to the doorsteps of the militants.

He said: “We are taking no more chances. I think our tolerance has been mistaken for cowardice and it is time to act.
“Now we are ready to join hands with the relevant Nigerian forces to smoke out all militants that have constituted themselves as the tail troubling the dog of Lagosians all these while.

“We have already moved into action, and they shall all be smoked out and dealt with in no time.”
As at press time, the press department of the 81 Division was yet to react to the incident that took place over 48 hours ago.

The Assistant Director Public Relations of 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lieutenant Colonel M.D. Dauda, said he had just assumed duty on Monday.

Although he promised to make available a press statement regarding his assumption and the kidnap of the lieutenant, nothing of such happened.