By; Bala B. Bitrus, Minna,
With the aid of aerial surveillance, ground patrols and intelligence gathering, the Niger State Police Command said it has raided criminal enclave and hideouts in parts of the state and made haul of arrest of criminals.
No fewer than 194 dangerous, dare devil criminals, cattle rustlers, armed robbers and bandits were arrested in the latest onslaught by the Police.
The Police in the state said it carried out the operations in some villages where communal feud between Fulani herdsmen and Gbagyi farmers had in recent months claimed several lives and loss of properties worth several millions of naira.
The Police Commissioner in the state Mr. Zubairu Mu’azu disclosed also that in the recent operations, men and officers of the Command in conjunction with operatives of sister security agencies made a haul arrest of of assorted weapons which include five Ak47 rifles with 648 rounds of live ammunition, 21 single barrel guns with 249 cartridges, 1 revolver riffle, five revolver short guns and six Ghana made pistols.
Other items recovered by the Police include one locally made pistol, nine den guns, axes, swords, bows and arrows, machetes, knives and cartons of assorted drugs and medications ostensibly used by the criminals in their conclave.
Police Commissioner Mu’azu said the Command’s major handicap in fighting crime has been the dearth of modern communication equipment to track down criminals and take the fight to the base of men of the underworld in their hideouts.
The Police boss spoke at the State Command Headquarters of the Police where he applauded the doggedness of men and officers of the Command who have according to him displayed commitment to duty and made impressive in-roads in checkmating armed banditry and kidnapping in the state.
Shortly after the briefing, the Police Commissioner paraded some criminal elements arrested in parts of the state.
He assured citizens in the state that the Command will continue to work round the clock in it’s efforts to ensure that there was no hiding place for criminals in the state.While giving details of the recent onslaughts against criminals and the operations to maintain law and order in the state, Police Commissioner Mu’azu disclosed that “our men took the battles down to the armed bandits’ den in Alawa, Kukoki, Ishaw, Kaffin-koro, Sarkin-Pawa, Gidan-Mangoro, Lapai and Gurrara”.He said the Police in the state have also routed criminal elements and bandits at Pandogari who had, until recently, held sway and unleashed terror on innocent citizens in the area.
The Police Commissioner lamented that the Command was being hamstrung by lack of effective communication equipment in it’s fight against the men of the underworld.
“Part of the challenges we encounter in taking our battles to the criminals’ dens is that most of the roads in the hinterlands are not motorable couple with the fact that we lack good and effective communication equipment.” he said.He enlisted the support of citizens in the fight against criminals and crime while urging citizens to report to security agencies any suspicious group and suspected criminal hideouts in any part of the state.
He cautioned citizens against peddling rumour. He said rumour creates anxiety, builds up undue tension and panic which results in pandemonium for the criminally minded to operate’.