Tony Osauzo, Benin
In an effort to check incessant incidents of kidnapping along the Benin-Lagos highway, the Edo State Police Command, yesterday, deployed five bulldozers to commence the clearing of a section of the forest along the road.
The state Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Abubakar, disclosed that the forest is to be cleared 50 metres inside between Ovia River and Okada junction.
He explained that the purpose is to take the battle to the kidnappers’ den in the forest.
Similarly, operatives of the command have arrested a member of the kidnap gang that abducted two students of Delta State Polytechnic, Oghara.
The suspect, Idodo, was nabbed in Benin City while looking for a buyer for the Toyota Camry snatched from the victims.
Another female suspect belonging to the gang was said to have been earlier arrested while attempting to collect the ransom paid for the release of the kidnapped students.
The commissioner and Edo Commander of the NSCDC in the state, Ayela Makinde, took a walk through the route suspected to be used by kidnappers during the exercise in which operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the 4 Brigade Nigerian Army participated. Some wrappers of suspected kidnap victims, live and expended ammunition were recovered under a shade close to the highway believed to be the hiding spot of the kidnappers.
The police boss assured the contractors that adequate security would be provided during the period of clearing the bushes, observing that the height of the grasses provided an easy cover for the kidnappers to hide.
“You can see that from these spots they can see our men but we cannot see them.
This road must be kept safe and we will not allow kidnappers to remain.”
“The battle line has been drawn. We want to be seeing the kidnappers.
“We are experiencing pockets of attacks along this road. This spot is one of the black spots. After our meeting with Governor Obaseki, we discussed that the hoodlums were taking advantage of the forest.
“We requested for bulldozers to clear the forest at least 50 metres inside. We are sure that by the time we finish the clearing, they will meet their waterloo.
“They operate guerilla style. We have foiled their operations severely. That is why we have huge traffic flow on this road. We do not want what is happening elsewhere to happen here. This road is very strategic. It is gateway to the South South and South East. We are always on this road to give the public confidence.
“We have made a lot arrest and recovered arms. We have charged many to court and others are under investigation,” he said.