The Nigerian Army says it will conduct the disposal of recovered unexploded ordnances from the site of the 2002 Ikeja cantonment bomb blast at the Nigerian Army Range in Owode, Ajilete, Ogun State, on Friday, October 27.
The exercise which will take place from 10 am to 4 pm., will “produce a loud bang that would be heard from far and near,” Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu stated on Wednesday via the army’s handle on X (formerly Twitter).
PUNCH had earlier reported that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, had ordered the clearance of unexploded explosive ordnance at the site of the bomb blast.
The statement read that the COAS, during the flag-off of three training exercises at the cantonment, inaugurated ‘Exercise Clean Sweep’ with the objective to “completely disinfect the epicentre of the Ikeja bomb blast and clear it of all verified and suspected remaining unexploded explosive ordnances lying around the cantonment.”
However, Nwachukwu stated that 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 (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja on 10 October 2023, the Nigerian Army would be conducting disposal of recovered unexploded ordnances at the Nigerian Army Range in Owode, Ajilete, Ogun State on Friday 27 October 2023 from 10 am to 4 pm.
“Accordingly, there would be movement of unexploded ordnances from Ikeja Cantonment to the Nigerian Army Shooting Range, Owode, Ajilete in Ogun State.”
The army public relations director noted that the “detonation of the explosives would produce a loud bang that would be heard from far and near during the exercise.”
Nwachukwu appealed to “the farmers and farm owners within and around the perimeters of the Nigerian Army Shooting Range Ajilete, Owode Ogun State, to please stay clear during the period of the exercise.
The statement read, “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.
“The Nigerian Army assures the general public that necessary cautionary measures have been placed to guarantee the safety of life and property throughout the duration of the exercise.”