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Army to clear bomb remnants at Ikeja cantonment

Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu

Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu

The Nigerian Army will commence the disposal of unexploded bombs from the site of the 2002 Ikeja Cantonment bomb blast on October 10, 2023.

The preparation for the operation, codenamed Exercise Clean Sweep, has reached an advanced stage, according to the Director,  Army Public Relations,  Brig.  Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu.

It will be recalled that the 2002 Ikeja Cantonment bomb blast created panic and led to the death of over 1,000 people who drowned in a canal while trying to flee.

Nwachukwu, in a statement on Wednesday, said the disposal of bombs would also be done at Owode,  Ajilete in Ogun State on October 27.

He added that loud bangs would be heard during the exercise, urging residents not to panic.

He said,  “The clearance of remnants of unexploded ordnances from the site of the 2002 Ikeja Cantonment bomb blast commenced on Tuesday,  October 10, 2023, in an exercise codenamed ‘Exercise Clean Sweep’.

“The exercise has reached an advanced stage, resulting in the recovery of various calibres of unexploded ordnances, which will have to be professionally and safely disposed of.

“In line with the exercise plan, as earlier highlighted during the inauguration press briefing and flag-off by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, on October 10, 2023, the Nigerian Army would be conducting disposal of recovered unexploded ordnances at the Nigerian Army Range in Owode, Ajilete, Ogun State on Friday, October 27,  2023 from 10am to 4pm.

“Accordingly, there would be movement of unexploded ordnances from Ikeja Cantonment to the Nigerian Army Shooting Range, Owode, Ajilete in Ogun State. The detonation of the explosives would produce a loud bang that would be heard from far and near during the exercise.

“Consequently, members of the general public, particularly residents of Owode, Ajilete, and the environs are enjoined to not panic but go about their normal and legitimate businesses, as the sound of the explosion would not raise any security concern.

“Particular appeal goes to farmers and farm owners within and around the perimeters of the Nigerian Army Shooting Range Ajilete, Owode, Ogun State, to please steer clear during the period of the exercise.”