A group, Forest Soldiers, FS, otherwise known as ‘Isaac Adaka Boro Last Born’ on Sunday, sent warning signals to the Department of State Services, DSS, military and other security agents to shelve the planned military attack on Ishawo, Arepo, Abule Oba and other riverine communities in Lagos and Ogun States.
The group said it has noted the heavy presence of military personnel and DSS operatives in operation vans and armoured personnel carriers in Arepo area since Saturday, apparently in a bid to launch attacks on the area, following the September 16 killing of seven DSS operatives at Konu, a border between Arepo in Ogun State and Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The group which comprises Ijaw ex-militants from Ese-Odo council area of Ondo State and their counterpart from Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and other Niger-Delta states noted that any attack, either on land or air along the Arepo/Ikorodu creeks and watersides would lead to the killing of many innocent people including women and children.
The group therefore, reiterated its call to security agencies to look for the killers of their men elsewhere, even as it denied involvement in the killing which attracted military bombardment of the area in search of the missing men.
In a telephone call to journalists in Akure, the spokesman of the group, Akon Obukogban, said their sin was that they were oil bunkerers in the creeks of Arepo after failed attempts to embrace and get listed in the federal government’s amnesty programme since 2010.
Obukogban said many of their members were forced out of their homes in Arogbo area of Ondo State by an unnamed ex-militant lord in order to monopolise the bunkering business.
“We even tried to get enlisted in the third phase of the amnesty programme of the federal government during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration under the chairmanship of our brother and former Special Adviser, Kingsley Kuku, but all to no avail.
“That was when we decided to relocate to the creeks in Arepo and environs; but the Lagos State Government has continued to make life very difficult for us, using security agents to terrorise and tag us with many criminal activities in the area. Many of us were killed by security operatives inside the creeks, we lost about ten of our men in a recent attack. We are living in fear and untold agony.”
Obukogban noted that the group has been playing ‘big brother’ to landlords and residents of the area by protecting them from cult guys who had been vandalising, kidnapping, stealing and killing them.
On the September 16 incident at Ishawo area of Ikorodu, he said members of the group couldn’t have been involved in the operation that led to the killing of DSS operatives since their activity was confined to the creeks and not on land where the attack was carried out.
The spokesman also drew the attention of security operatives to the criminal activities of some unnamed cult guys who had been terrorising the area, while disguising as militants from the creeks.
“These cultists usually terrorise the area, doing all sorts of criminal activities; but we always help the landlords and residents by counter-attacking them and stop their ungodly acts. We seized many of their guns including two double barrel guns and sometime ago we rescued a military personnel and took him to the hospital for treatment,” Obukogban stated.


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