During the ongoing ‘Exercise Clean Sweep’ at the Ikeja Military Cantonment in Lagos, a total of 93 unexploded bombs, also known as ordnance, have been successfully recovered. This exercise was initiated on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, with the primary aim of decontaminating the area that served as the epicentre of the 2002 bomb blast within the cantonment.
The unexploded bombs retrieved varied in terms of calibre and description, as confirmed by the Army. Colonel Abdulrazaq Kazeem, the Director at the Directorate of Explosives Search and Disposal, Nigeria Army Engineers, and Coordinator of ‘Exercise Clean Sweep,’ delivered this update during his inaugural briefing on the progress of the exercise. He emphasized, “So far, a total of 93 unexploded ordnance have been recovered from the site.”
Despite previous clearance and disposal efforts conducted in the area, remnants of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) have continued to be discovered both within and around the vicinity of the 2002 bomb blast site. This situation has posed risks to the safety and security of the residents of the Cantonment and its surroundings.
Colonel Kazeem also explained the protocol for handling these explosives, stating, “The moment we reach the maximum allowable amount of explosives within our holding area, these ordnances will be transferred to a designated range. If we happen to reach the explosive limits for today, we will transfer them today. We will not exceed the specified explosive limits, as it is measured in kilograms. We will strictly adhere to this threshold. With the current count at 93, we have not yet reached the defined limits.”
The Safety Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Oluseyi Oladapo Bamikole, assured that comprehensive safety measures had been put in place for the personnel involved in the operation. These measures include the provision of appropriate equipment, demarcations, and training for personnel to identify unexploded ordnance before their recovery from the site.
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