The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has approved the deployment of a squad of “Operation Puff Adder” to Kogi, in response to the wave of violent crimes in the state.
The state Commissioner of police, Mr Hakeem Busari, inaugurated the squad comprising 340 men and officers selected from Mobile Police Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, and IGP Special Tactical Squad.
Busari said the squad also comprised men from the Explosive Ordinance Department, Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the IGP Intelligence Response Team.
He said that members of the squad will be complemented by officers and men of the state command, saying that they were deployed, to quickly address the insecurity situation on ground.
To this end, Busari charged them to appraise the prevailing worrisome security situation, in the state and design a template to contain it.
He also charged them to identify all criminal syndicates; their leaders, foot soldiers and sponsors, with a view to arresting them with operational precision.
“You are to carry out sporadic raids of their houses/homes, hideouts, rendezvous and other tabernacles.
“You must recover arms and ammunition, dangerous weapons, dangerous charms and all other items/properties reasonable suspected to be proceeds of crimes,” he said.
The commissioner of police told the squad members to identify kidnappers’ safe havens, hideouts, warehouses and liberate victims and arrest culprits.
He said that the squad would be deployed for a 24-hour security patrol on major highways in the state including, Lokoja–Abuja, Lokoja-Okene, Lokoja-Objana, and Lokoja–Ajaokuta.
Busari also listed Obajana–Kabba, Okene–Auchi and Ajaokuta–Anyigba–Ankpa; as other highways that will come under the heavy security surveillance of the special squad.
He said that a detachment of the squad will be deployed to Bagana and Ogba communities in Omala and Bassa Loval government areas of the state to prevent escalation of communal clashes.
He said that the police will not spare any effort to bring lasting peace to the restive communities and rid them of crimes and criminality.
Busari warned members of the squad to carry out their duties professionally and to respect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
He also charged them to work as a team and refrain from allowing outsiders to infiltrate their rank and file.
He also appealed to members of the public, especially transport operators, traditional rulers, youth groups, hunters to cooperate with them.
He charged stakeholders in the community and give them the necessary support that can assist in the fight against kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and other violent crimes.
On Friday, the IGP launched code Operation Puff Adder along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
Adamu, said “Operation Puff Adder” (OPA) is a well thought out and major operation being launched by the Police.
He said that OPA was aimed at re-dominating and reclaiming the public space from heinous criminal elements that are bent on threatening the nation’s internal security order.
According to him, the operation will cover Abuja-Kaduna highway and the adjoining communities and extend to Kogi, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states.