The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has disclosed that 1,154 suspected kidnappers were arrested across Nigeria between January and August.
Concise News reports that Adamu, who made this known on Monday during the Southwest Geopolitical Zone Security Summit held in Ibadan, said that 147 of the arrests were made in the region.
The IGP revealed that a total of 837 victims of kidnapping were rescued, with 106 of such rescues achieved in the Southwest.
He said: ”Between January and August, a total of 552 murder suspects were arrested with 66 such arrests effected in the Southwest.
”2,015 armed robbery suspects were arrested with 363 of the figure arrested in the zone.
”1,183 suspected cultists were napped, out of which 425 were arrested in the zone.
”In relation to recovery, 1,356 firearms of various calibre and descriptions were recovered in various intelligence-led operations by the Police, with 277 of such recoveries made in the Southwest.
”Similarly, 21,300 ammunition of various descriptions and calibre were recovered with the highest number of 5,270 ammunition recovered from criminal syndicates in the zone.
”Also, 1,541 stolen vehicles were recovered across the country, with 482 of such recoveries in Southwest.”
Adamu said the statistics showed that the Police in recent months had developed capacity and exhibited the requisite professional zeal.
The IGP further revealed that there were separate cases of kidnapping and armed robbery in the Southwest, especially along Benin-Ore-Lagos highway and across Ondo state.
He added that the current operations of the Police and other security agencies across the country, particularly along Niger- Kogi- FCT -Kaduna -Katsina and Zamfara state, has been victorious.
“The operations areas have engendered a dispersal and relocation of some of the criminals to new localities including the Southwest,” he added.
Adamu said a special operation was initiated across Southwest to specifically address the menace of kidnapping and armed robbery on the highways and other locations.
He, however, called on the security stakeholders in the zone to support the Police in encouraging and advancing in the interest of communal and internal security.
Essence of meeting with Southwest governors
Adamu said they were ”partnering to develop strategies to address the threats and building trust to undertake actions directed at mitigating them.”
He further remarked that experience from the first security summit held in the North-East geopolitical zone highlighted the fact that Police could not proceed on an anti-crime war against criminal elements that were blended in their determination to threaten nation’s common values with a divided front.
He said, ”Hence we must as a strategy, strengthen partnership among ourselves as a community on the one hand and between the communities and the Police on the other hand.
”The strength of this partnership and the commitment of all actors within the process will undoubtedly, influence the extent of success we can record against the criminals.”
He posited that no police agency either in the advanced or developing climes could succeed in their mandate without the consent, support and trust of the citizens, regardless of how well equipped, trained or motivated they might be.
Makinde speaks about summit
Reading the communique at the end of the summit, the host governor, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, said that the IGP has approved the deployment of special forces to be commanded by a Commissioner of Police.
Makinde said the CP would lead a Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) team to support the crime-fighting initiative of the state commissioners of police.
He said the South-West States Governors have made the commitment towards the provision of more serviceable, fast-moving patrol vehicles in support of crime-fighting, which shall be launched in no distant future, to complement the available fleet.
”The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has equally agreed to partner with the Police in fighting crime to bring it to the lowest ebb,” the governor said.
”The deployment of cutting-edge technology, like CCTV will be strengthened. Aerial surveillance of flashpoints across the South West Geopolitical Zone will be sustained.
”In order to give effect to the community policing vision of the Nigeria Police Force, Community Policing Officers (CPOs) would be recruited from within the communities where they reside.
”This will complement the Police in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive police functions.
”It’s agreed that a committee, consisting of policemen, other security agencies, the OPC led by Chief Gani Adams, Miyetti Allah and the citizenry should be set up in each state.
”This further discusses the modalities on the reduction of crime and criminalities as it affects the state.”
Governors of states in the Southwest in attendance were Oyo’s Makinde, and Osun’s Gboyega Oyetola, while Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti were represented by their deputies: Obafemi Hamzat, Noimot Salako Oyedele, Agboola Ajayi, and Bisi Egbeyemi.