Barely a week after a car explosion rocked Folawiyo jetty in Apapa, an online news medium, TheCable, has reported that about 50 suspects were picked up between Monday and Tuesday this week by police operatives from different divisions in connection with the bomb blast.
The medium said the suspects had been transferred to the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) at the command headquarters in Ikeja and were being interrogated “and those who are believed to be innocent are being released,” according to a senior police officer quoted by the medium.
The officer said there is “reasonable suspicion” that some of the suspects have infiltrated the state and are setting up terror sects.
“Some of them were picked up from Apapa, Ijora, Berger, Isolo, Mushin, Idi-Araba, and some other places in the state based on a tip-off.
“Currently, we are quizzing the ones already arrested on the suspicion that they are Boko Haram members. Already, we have gathered that some of them are Nigerians while the rest are foreigners who smuggled themselves into the country without the appropriate pass.
“If after investigations, they are deemed clean, we will release the Nigerians among them to sureties but the foreigners will be deported if they are cleared after investigations.
“However, if investigations reveal they are Boko Haram members, we will take them to Abuja for further investigations and then they will take it up from there,” the medium quoted the newspaper as saying.
Meanwhile, the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday charged tank farms operators on vigilance around their operational bases.
Fashola who met with the operators at the Lagos House, Alausa also asked the operators to promptly report vehicles that cannot be accounted for in their areas of operation to the police and security agencies.
In a mind-rubbing session with the operators, the governor urged them to ensure that no vehicle that cannot be accounted for is allowed to park in their premises or make use of their facilities so as not to compromise the security of the State.
He said, “You must have to put down your foot about vehicles parking around your premises. We have tried but many of you have insisted; we have been called anti-poor and anti-business, but it is only those who are alive that will do business.
“So around your tank farms, around your offices and around your storage facilities, there should be no vehicles that are parked there that could not be accounted for. Once there is such a vehicle that you cannot account for, let us know, call the Commissioner of Police or the Director of SSS. This is the way to win this war; it is not going to happen by wishes or getting sensational or hysterical,” the Governor said.
However, Fashola also pleaded for a reflection on the negative impact of the operations of the tank farm on other businesses and the environment generally, saying they should spare a thought for those who do other businesses in Apapa.
“Other business owners in Apapa are complaining about how tankers have taken over their businesses. And the people I see here are some of the most sophisticated people that our country has produced. I think we can do better.
“I think we can do business with some compassion and with some consideration. You know the irony is that we need the fuel but we don’t want to lose our homes and our lives in the process of getting the fuel. I suggest, may be some of you (should) constitute yourselves into a team, go out on Saturdays, go out on Sundays to go and see what your operations are doing to some people; perhaps you would be as concerned as we are,” the Governor said.
Fashola advocated the use of rail to move petroleum products as it was done in the 1980s.
“When Texaco, Mobil, Total and the rest started haulage 50 years ago they started by rail but later forced them into the roads; but now this generation can do the right thing and go back to the rails.
“The facilities are all there. All we need is to rehabilitate the rails and begin to build our coaches and put them back on the tracks one after the other. I know that once we said it is going to be done, they will be done”, he said adding, “Apapa is the first industrial Estate in Nigeria”.