From Ben Dunno, Warri
Residents of Warri and its environs have commended the men and officers of the 3rd Battalion under the Sector 1 Command, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, Effurun Barracks, in Uvwie Local Government Area, for coming to the aid of the Nigerian Police Force in reducing crime in the metropolis and other neighbouring communities.
Residents mostly along the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) Road, Jakpa Road, Airport and Okere Roads, Effurun-Sapele Road, as well as the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Expressway to the Delta Steel Company, (DSC) Ovwian-Aladja, Udu Council Area, expressed gratitude to the soldiers.
A resident living along the Effurun-Sapele Road by Urhobo College, Mr Harrison Anyanwu, said before now the area was under siege by the members of an armed robbery cartel that had terrorised them shortly after the #EndSARS protests.
He said that the situation worsened when policemen became targets of mob attacks by the rioters and were confined to their barracks, a period that led to the escalation of violent crime in the area.
Mr Ayanwu explained that the situation reached its peak during the yuletide period, with cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and cult wars became a daily occurrence as policemen went on strike.
According to the resident, ‘but we are very happy that early this morning (January 20) when the men attached to 3 Battalion under the Sector 1 Command, Operation Delta Safe, took the bull by the horn and engaged some armed robbers, who had been identified as members of the cartel that had terrorised us, in a fierce gun battle.’
‘The soldiers who had been on the trail of the gang members for a while were able to identify and track them down by Urhobo College at about 7 am this morning and on sighting the soldiers, the robbers opened fire at them from their vehicle,’ he said.
‘It was at this point that the soldiers had to retaliate and in the process, one of the robbers was killed and the rest who later surrendered were arrested and are currently being detained and interrogated at the barracks before they would be handed over to the police.’
He said the items recovered from the robbers include one locally-made gun, one Toyota Camry car with registration number Delta GBJ 973 AA, allegedly snatched by the gang from Mrs Monica Sokoh at gunpoint.
The resident urged the Sector 1 Commander, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, Col Sanni Ahmed and the Commanding Officer, 3 Battalion, Major Ismael Hussain, to ensure that criminals do not take over the city and prayed that God would continue to give them the ability to carry on with the good job they are currently doing in the city.