The Presidency yesterday listed the various measures and initiatives taken by the Federal Government to curtail the spate of crime and criminality across the country.
It assured that “evildoers will be beaten, and badly, too.’’
The Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, who chronicled the measures in a statement in Abuja, said the Buhari administration was committed to finding drastic solutions to security challenges.
According to him, the government has the constitutional duty and responsibility to safeguard lives and properties.
Adesina added: “These are no doubt times of great security challenges for our country, and the President Buhari-led government is not leaving any stone unturned to restore sanity and calm.’’
“The Buhari administration remains committed to this, and despite recent spikes in the spate of crime and criminality, the evildoers will be beaten, and badly, too.
“The ravening clouds can never be victorious. Soon, they shall no longer possess the sky.’’
Adesina, therefore, listed, for the record, some of the security initiatives taken between January and now to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians.
“Operation Puff Adder (Police), Operation HARBIN KUNAMA3 (Nigerian Army) and Exercise Egwu Eke 3(Nigerian Army) have all been launched in 2019, to complement the existing Operations Sharan Daji (launched in 2016 by the Nigerian Army) and Diran Mikiya (launched 2018 by the Nigerian Air Force). All of these operations are focused on tackling banditry and criminality in the North West of Nigeria.
“Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 was launched on 1 April 2019 to ensure the complete defeat of the bandits fleeing military operations in Zamfara and escaping into Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Niger and Sokoto states.
“Hundreds of kidnappers and bandits have been arrested or killed since January, several camps/hideouts destroyed; and hundreds of hostages rescued. In a two-week operation in February (lasting from Feb 4 to Feb 14), 80 hostages were freed by the Nigerian Army, with 37 bandits killed.
“Aerial bombardments of bandits’ camps have been intensified in recent months. A new Air Force Base – the 271 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (271 NAF Det) – was commissioned at Birinin Gwari in Kaduna State in May 2019, to complement the 207 Quick Response Group (QRG) established in Gusau, Zamfara State, in 2017.
“Also, the Nigerian police between January 2019 and the 1st week of May, 2019, has arrested a total of 270 suspected kidnappers, 275 suspected armed robbers, while 105 assorted weapons plus a large cache of ammunition have been recovered within the states of the North West and North Central Nigeria.”
The other initiatives and achievement so far recorded include:
“On April 5, the police launched ‘Operation Puff Adder’, a multi-agency strategy, in collaboration with the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Department of State Services (DSS), tailored towards ridding the Kaduna – Abuja Expressway, Kogi, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states of all forms of crimes and criminality- kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, amongst others.
“On April 9, the police operatives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ arrested three notorious criminals involved in the kidnap of Channels Television’s employee, Mr. Friday Okeregbe-Hanniel Patrick, Abdulwahab Isah and Salisu Mohammed.
“On April 10, officers of the ‘Operation Puff Adder’ killed nine notorious criminals on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, six Ak47 Rifles, a Pump Action Gun, 1,206 Rounds of Ak47 Ammunition, 7 Magazines, 28 Cartridges and 158 Expended Shells were recovered from the criminals.
On April 16, operatives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ arrested one Mallam Salisu Abubakar, 48-year-old, a native of Dutsinma Local Government Area, Katsina State. The Mallam, is a self-confessed spiritual father of kidnappers terrorising Abuja-Kaduna expressway and parts of other Northwest/Northcentral states.
“Following the arrest of the kidnappers’ ‘spiritual father’, Police detectives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’, arrested 18 notorious kidnappers and armed robbers at different times and places across the country. A total of twenty- two (22) AK 47 rifles, five (5) locally fabricated pistols and a cache of live ammunition were recovered from the bandits.