This crucial exercise was officially launched on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, with the primary objective of decontaminating the epicenter of the 2002 bomb blast that had occurred within the cantonment.
The unexploded ordnance retrieved by the Army varied in terms of calibers and descriptions, signifying the potentially dangerous range of explosives that remained concealed within the area.
Colonel Abdulrazaq Kazeem, the Director at the Directorate of Explosives Search and Disposal within the Nigeria Army Engineers and the Coordinator of EXERCISE CLEAN SWEEP, shared this significant update during his maiden briefing on the progress of the exercise. He disclosed that, among other accomplishments, "So far, a total of 93 unexploded ordnance have been recovered from the site."
Despite prior clearance and disposal efforts conducted in the vicinity, there had been recurrent reports of the discovery of remnants of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) within and around the bomb blast site. These findings posed a serious threat to the safety and security of both the residents of the Cantonment and the broader environment. The 'Exercise Clean Sweep' emerges as a crucial initiative to address this persistent challenge and ensure the safety of the affected area and its inhabitants.
“The moment we reach maximum limits of explosives within our holding area, such ordinances will be moved to the range. If we get to the explosive limits today, I will move to the range today. We would not exceed a kilogramm above the explosive limits because it is measured in kilogramme. We wouldn’t cross that line. At 93, we have not yet reached the limits,” he reiterated.
On his part, the Safety Officer, Lt Col Oluseyi Oladapo Bamikole said necessary measures had been put in place “for the safety of personnel as they have made adequate equipment available including demarcations and trained personnel to identify UXO before recovery from the site.”