Investigation revealed that the Special Boat Service of the Nigerian Navy led the ground assault against the vandals by 3pm on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the SBS operatives met little or no resistance as they fired their way into the heart of the vandals’ empire where several innocent security men were killed and buried.
The SBS is a special operations unit of the Nigerian Navy comprising only male commandos whose roles include“Reconnaissance and Surveillance, covert beach reconnaissance in advance of an amphibious assault, recovery or protection of ships and oil installations subject to hostile state or non-state action, Maritime Counter-Terrorism and offensive Action.”
It was gathered that while the naval commandos moved into the dreaded forest and destroyed the shanty settlement and thousands of jerry cans and other tools used for siphoning fuel, elements of the ongoing ‘Operation Awatse’ provided tight security on the land area.
Investigation revealed that several soldiers, policemen and the men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were deployed in the area to prevent any surprise attack by the armed vandals.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, confirmed the commencement of the ground action against the vandals.
He stressed that the operation was designed to continue until the vandals were completely removed from the nation’s pipeline at Arepo. Abubakar said that some of the vandals fled Arepo to Tongeji, an island off the coast of Badagary, where they were said to have held a meeting.
He said that some of the hoodlums also fled to Snake Island, adding that efforts were ongoing to track them.