Lokoja, April 15, 2019 ( NAN) The Police, on Monday, inaugurated ” Operation Puff Adder” as parts of efforts to curb banditry and kidnapping in Kogi.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG 8), Mr Moses Jitoboh who inaugurated the operation, called on the stakeholders to join hands with the police to ensure the success of the operation.
He said the support of the stakeholders became necessary because the operation, by its design, depended on the people in various communities to achieve its objective.
According to him, those behind the incessant acts of banditry and kidnapping dwell among the people, adding that they should be reported to security agents for proper action.
Jitiboh urged traditional rulers and leaders of the socio-cultural groups in the state to be ready to work with the police, by volunteering useful information about criminals and their hideouts.
He said that officers and men of the operation had been mandated to pursue and fish out criminals from the bush and other hideouts.
The AIC assured that officers and men of the operation would discharge their duty professionally and without infringing on the rights of the citizens.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hakeem Busari, said that a 340-man squad had been deployed for the operation in the state, adding that their effort would be complemented by more officers and men from the command.
Busari also said that policemen would be deployed to highways, flash points and some communities facing security challenges.
The Governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, promised to provide logistics for the squad, to enable it achieve its targets.
Bello, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashde Ayoade, admonished criminals and their sponsors to desist or be ready to face the consequences of their crime.
He said that criminals would not be allowed a space to operate, saying that he was unwavered in his determination to make the state secure for people to live and investments thrive.
The Special Adviser to the governor on security, Mr Jerry Omodara, urged men and officers of the squad to focus on recovery of arms from criminals.
He reiterated that any house found to be hideouts of criminals would be demolished according to law of the state.
Responding on behalf of traditional rulers and community leaders, the Ohimege of Koton Karfe, Alhaji Isah Koto, promised the support of his colleagues to ensure the success of ” Operation Puff Adder.”
He, however, pleaded with the state government to provide more funds and equipment to the police to enable them to discharge their constitutional mandate.