Exercise Clean Sweep: Nigerian Army Detonates 2055 Ordnances within 57 Days In Ogun

Following the directive of the Chief Of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, the Nigerian Army has detonated 2055 Ordinances at Ajilete Owode, Idiroko Area of Ogun state.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja said this at the closing ceremony of “EXERCISE CLEAN SWEEP” at the NIGERIAN ARMY CANTONMENT IKEJA LAGOS. 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TA Lagbaja, ably represented by the Commander Corps of Engineers, Maj Gen PE Eromosele said exactly 57 days ago, he flagged off this EXERCISE CLEAN SWEEP to clear remnants of unexploded ordnances from the site of the 28 January 2002 Ikeja Cantonment Bomb Blast.

The COAS said before now, the contaminated site has been a no-go area for inhabitants of the cantonment and environ as the Unexploded Explosive Ordnance therein posed a grave safety and security threat.

“I therefore stand here just about 2 months short of the 22nd anniversary of the bomb blast with great sense of accomplishment, pride in the ability of our personnel, and gratitude to the Lord for the successful clearance of the harmful Unexploded Explosive Ordnance.

“Exercise CLEAN SWEEP witnessed the deployment of some of the most sophisticated Explosive Ordnance Disposal technologies and techniques available today in the market, which include ground penetrating radar detection systems, drone-propagated chemical clearance of vegetation, as well as remote-controlled Explosive Ordnance Disposal robots.

“Additionally, the best Nigerian Army personnel in Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Ammunition Technical Experts from Nigerian Army Engineers and the Nigerian Army Ordinance Corps were also employed.

“The efficient mobilization of these men and equipment resulted in the timely search/recovery and disposal of 2,055 Unexploded Explosive Ordnance of various calibers from the contaminated site. The blast’s epicenter, measuring 155,275 Square Meters, is now safe and secured for immediate productive development." he added 

He said the Nigerian Army has not achieved this feat alone. In keeping with the joint approach to achieving our operational objectives and tasks as captured in my Command Philosophy, the Nigerian Army adopted a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach from planning to executing this exercise.

The resources of key stakeholders like the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal and State Fire Services, Federal Road Safety Corps, National and State Emergency Management Authorities, and the media were professionally pooled to achieve success in the most cost-effective manner.

"This synergy ensured standard safety and security procedures were strictly adhered to, leaving no gaps for accidents or misinformation of the general populace.

He commended the Commanders Corps of Engineers, the Ordnance Corps, the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, and the Commander 9 Brigade for professionally coordinating this exercise. My sincere appreciation also goes to heads of sister and paramilitary agencies, our Royal fathers, other invited dignitaries, and members of the press here with us today for their usual cooperation.

"Importantly, I commend the Team that executed this cleanup exercise. I salute their bravery, dedication to duty, sense of urgency, and professional dexterity, which has resulted in declaring a successfully. 

”Finally, permit me to reiterate that the Nigerian Army will continue to be responsible and responsive in its engagement with the society. In line with this commitment, our ongoing end-of-year exercises and operations have been strengthened further to achieve their respective objectives of combating piracy, oil theft, banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, insurgency, secessionist agitation, and others.

Earlier in his opening remarks The Acting Director DES&D HQ Nigerian Army Engineers, Col.A O Kazeem said the Nigerian Army troops meticulously inspected an area of about 155,000 square meters, and certified the site clear. "I am happy to therefore announce that the site of the 2002 explosion is now clear of any form of UXO and will today be handed over to the Army Headquarters for future development

Col.A O Kazeem noted that Exercise CLEAN SWEEP was meticulously conducted in 4 distinct phases, namely mobilization, vegetation clearance, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) search and recovery, and demobilization. Each phase was executed with precision and utmost professionalism, demonstrating the exceptional capabilities of our personnel.

He said during the UXO search and recovery phase, we employed state-of-the-art equipment such as Husky CIED Vehicles and Vallon Dual Sensor Handheld Mine detectors.

He noted that these sophisticated equipment enabled us to systematically locate and recover a total of 2,055 UXOs from the site. I am pleased to inform you that not a single UXO was deliberately or accidentally detonated at the clearance site. Furthermore, I am delighted to report that there were no accidents throughout the exercise, which is a testament to the high level of competence and discipline displayed by our personnel during the exercise.

The officers and soldiers have not only demonstrated their mastery of EOD tactics, techniques and procedures but have also showcased their proficient use of the best technology in modern EOD operations. 

In adherence to international best practices as well as quality assurance, the site was double-checked by the Nigerian Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal-CBRN.

Dignitrues at the closing ceremony were,  Commander, Corps of Ordinance, General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Commander 9 Brigade, Commisioner of Police Lagos State Command,  Commanders,  Heads of Sister Security Agencies, paramilitary Agencies, Royal Father, His Royal Majesty Alaiyeluwa Oba Oluwasegun Olasunkanmi Ajasa, the Awuse of Onigbongbo Kingdom. 

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