The Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal Department (EOD) has said that its officers and men are fully prepared for the upcoming Edo State election.
The EOD also disclosed that, henceforth, officers and men of the Command would carry an onslaught on criminal hideouts.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Command, Maikudi Shehu, during his first quarterly conference with officers and unit commanders on Thursday at the EOD Lagos, Ikeja office, said there was no cause for alarm about the upcoming election in Edo State.
CP Shehu said on receiving news of the explosion in Benin City, EOD experts visited the scene, discovered that it was not a bomb as had been reported, but a locally-made improvised explosive device that people throw into people’s compounds.
He explained that with the rise in the use of explosive devices by bandits, the EOD has “started taking the battle to their hideouts and we are going to intensify our war. We are serious about it and we mean it. But we cannot achieve a great deal without the cooperation from the members of the public. We need intelligence. We were in Niger State giving assistance to our sister agencies. We are seriously mopping up the explosives.
“We are not to blame that we still have pockets of explosions in the country, because some of the materials used in manufacturing them had been imported before the border closure. Again, 98 per cent of what the bandits use to produce the explosive are locally-sourced. They use some materials such as fertilizer and fuel. Can the government ban people from using fuel or farmers from using fertilizer? Third, criminals don’t reveal their target victims and they don’t wear uniforms to show that they are criminals. What we do is that when there is an attack, we move to the scene and remedy the situation.
“My message is clear to bandits: they should relocate from the country because we are carrying out onslaughts to their hideouts. With the growing spate of violent crimes, which at times involve the use of improvised explosive device resulting in indiscriminate destruction of lives and property, there is an urgent need for corresponding action to be taken. As the criminals are advancing, we are going to deliberate and fashion out workable strategies in curtailing the criminals’ use of explosive/allied materials with a view to enhancing internal security.
“Terrorism has become one of the most dangerous threats to world peace such that no country is immune from it. Nevertheless, the dynamics in the strategies devised by terrorist groups call for the urgent need to re-strategise our modus operandi in our fighting crimes.
“I, therefore, charge all officers and men of the Command to put in their best in performing their statutory responsibilities and continue to strategise with other security agencies in addressing the prevailing security challenges. We have gone around the country and we have reports. We are studying the reports. We shall make use of the recommendations and make amendments where we need to,” Shehu stated.