On December 29, 2016, the police have foiled an attempt by a notorious Niger Delta militant group operating from the creeks of Ikorodu and Arepo on the outskirts of Lagos and Ogun states to blow up the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
This is not the first time, Lagos has experienced a terrorist threat on Third Mainland Bridge, popularly called 3MB.
The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Eko and Carter bridges. It is also quite popular and used frequently to ease movement in Lagos, between the mainland and the island.
1. MEND threat in 2007
THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in October, 2007 threatened to widen the theatre of the conflict back then, by blowing up the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
This threat was contained in an interview by Times of Nigeria with Jomo Gbomo, the self-acclaimed leader of the militia group
MEND is one of the largest militant groups in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The organization claims to expose exploitation and oppression of the people of the Niger Delta and devastation of the natural environment by public-private partnerships between the Federal Government of Nigeria and corporations involved in the production of oil in the Niger Delta.
2. Boko Haram threat in 2012
The Boko Haram terrorist group in a phone call to Africa Independent Television (AIT) in 2012, threatened to unleash bomb attacks in Lagos and Abuja unless the then, President Goodluck Jonathan appeared on AIT for an open discussion with them.
Their major planned targets, where the Third Mainland Bridge and other major infrastructure. The phone call was broadcast on the AIT news at 8pm and the sect made some demands and promised to unleashed terror if they were not met.
3. Asawana Deadly Force in 2016
Meanwhile in June 2016, a militant group from the Niger Delta gave a statement saying they would blow up the bridge.
The statement read: “We are bombing Bonga field, Onitsha -Asaba bridge, Third Mainland bridge, and other major bridges across the southern of the country, on Saturday 2nd July,2016.”
“This is not a mere threat. The only way out is for the Federal Government to relocate all headquarters of major oil companies to Niger Delta. They are built with our oil money. They must be moved back to the Niger Delta region.”
“If the federal government fails before the said day, we shall surely carry out the attack. The companies which headquarters we want back now include; Chevron,Agip and Shell which has their headquarters in Lagos.”
4. Latest threat in 2016
The most recent threat came from Abiodun Amos (aka Senti), the leader of a militant gang that was arrested for plotting to bomb the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos state.
He has disclosed that the federal government’s failure to consider he and his members for amnesty triggered their decision to cause havoc.
Amos, who is one of the leaders of a notorious militant group operating in Ikorodu and Arepo areas of Lagos and Ogun states.
Yet the bridge still stands strong, we hope this continues to be so in the near future.