Combined security agents on Friday embarked on a show of force in some riverside communities in Ondo state during which they destroyed an alleged criminal camp at Asere in the local government area Ese-Odo.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that agents from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police and other security agencies destroyed the camp during a patrol dubbed “Operation Show Force”.
NAN also reports that they recovered weapons and ammunition from the camp before setting it on fire.
Brig.-Gen. Zakari Logun-Abubakar, the commander of Akure’s 32nd Artillery Brigade, told reporters shortly after the exercise that his goal was to ensure the peaceful conduct of the October 10 gubernatorial elections in the state.
Logun-Abubakar said the operation was also to show the determination of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police and other security agencies to tackle acts of violence, especially in the riverside communities.
He assured state residents that security will be tightened before, during and after the elections.
“Operation ‘Show Force’ is to show our determination that we are ready for battle to ensure the peaceful conduct of the next elections in the state.
“We must also show the thugs that they cannot hijack the electoral process, that is why one of their camps is destroyed among many others that we will destroy if the criminals build more camps.
“That is a message that is sent to them that we are watching them and that the thugs who steal the ballot boxes and kidnap the INEC personnel will not continue as usual. We warn you in your own interest to avoid violence, “Logun-Abubakar said.
In addition, Navy Captain Shuaibu Muhammed-Ahmed, commanding officer of the Igbokoda Forward Operating Base (FOB), assured residents of riverside communities of their safety before, during and after the elections.
Muhammed-Ahmed urged the electorate not to panic, but to fulfill their civic responsibilities.
“Voters should not be afraid to go out and cast their vote because we will be on land and in waterways to ensure the environment for them, as adequate security will be provided.
“Our staff have been informed, they know what to do at all times and nothing other than that will be accepted,” Mohammed-Ahmed said.
The NAN reports that the “Operation Show Force” patrol covered the communities of Igbokoda, Agadagba, Arogbo, Akotogbo, Asere, Bolowo, Apatajo, Obenla, Awoye and Idiogba, all the riverside communities of the Ilaje and Ese-Odo councils .