Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, yesterday said that 46 suspected armed bandits and kidnappers have so far been arrested in the ongoing Operation Puff Adder launched to wipe out banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the county.
The IGP also said 10 other suspects were killed during the operations while two kidnapped persons were rescued. He further stated that a total of 18 firearms, comprising nine AK-47 riffles and nine locally fabricated/automatic weapons were recovers from suspects.
Adamu, who made this known at a meeting he held with Commissioners of Police (CPs) and higher ranks at the police force headquarters in Abuja, said 1,300 AK-47, ammunitions, 28 live cartridges and 10 extra riffle magazines were also recovered during the operation.
Operation Puff Adder was launched on April 5, 2015, to curb armed banditry, kidnapping and robbery in Kogi, Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Adamu, who warned that he would no longer tolerate laxity from police commissioners who fail to curtail the crimes in their areas, said the only way the police can be ahead of criminals was to continually generate actionable criminal intelligence to support its anti-crime functions.
He also warned that he would no longer tolerate a situation where the professional proficiency and sense of commitment to duty of some officers are being called to question in the face of inappropriate response to threats of crimes in their jurisdictions.
He, therefore, charged them to, as a matter of urgency, dissect the trends and patterns of crimes within their areas of jurisdiction, develop and modify crime management strategies and deploy human and material assets towards achieving a stable security order.
He said: “The only way we can stay ahead of criminals is to continually generate actionable criminal intelligence to support our anti-crime functions. This can only be achieved if we cultivate citizens’ partnership and confidence by returning policing to the people.
“Consequently, in reviewing your current strategies, you must fully engage the two core policing policies of the current police dispensation which are built on community policing and intelligence-led policing values.
“While we at the apex leadership level will strive to support and motivate you, we shall, henceforth, not hold back in sanctioning any officer whose dereliction or weak leadership capacity continually occasions increase in crimes.
“Indeed, it is in furtherance to our commitment to complementing you that Operation Puff Adder was conceptualized and launched on April 5, 2019 to address in the shortest possible time the threat of kidnapping, robbery and armed banditry in Kogi, Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina states as well as the FCT. It is gladdening to note that this initiative has recorded remarkable achievements. Between April 5, 2019 (when the operation was launched) and today, the initiative has recorded the following achievements.
“I expect you to replicate this strategy in your various commands in order to restore order in the public space and enhance public confidence in the police.”
He reassured Nigerians of the commitment of the police to continue to place effective strategies towards addressing the current security challenges in the country.
He said: “The threats might appear challenging, but I can assure that they are surmountable and we shall provide the requisite leadership needed to address them. We, however, cannot do it alone. We seek the citizens support and we trust that you shall all partner with us to present a common front in the war against criminal elements that are bent on re-ordering our national values and testing our common will”.