The New IGP

The Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, says the police have recovered dangerous weapons and arms, including general-purpose machine guns and AK 47 rifles, from secessionists in the country.

Baba, who revealed this at a weekly media press briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team in Abuja on Thursday, said the recovery of the weapons followed the launching of Operation Restore Peace in the South East and South-South zones of the federation.

He also disclosed that 398 armed robbery suspects, 258 cult-related offenders, 222 murder suspects, 202 bandits related suspects and 86 suspects involved in cases of kidnapping were also arrested.

He added that 434 firearms of various descriptions were also recovered from criminals in the South East and South-South zones since his assumption of office on April 7.

According to him, the new strategy inaugurated by the police in the Southern part of the country tagged “Operation Restore Peace”, is aimed at restoring law and order in the affected areas.

“We decided to launch an operation, which is tagged ‘Operation Restore Peace,’ and we targeted the South East and South-South for the first phase of the operation.

“We reinforced these two zones with a total of 3,700 policemen drawn from our various units, including the Police Mobile Force, the Strike Force, Counter-Terrorism, Special Protection Unit, etc.

“These Commands were reinforced with this personnel with specific instructions with an operation order targeted at stabilising the incessant attacks on Police facilities.

“The first operation in the South-East was launched on May 18 in Enugu and we clearly stated our mission and vision. All the states in that zone were in Enugu.

“We also had meetings with stakeholders to look at the non-kinetic way of addressing the issue.

“We also advised them that whatever agitation they have, could be done peacefully without targeting the Police or other security agents.

“We did the same thing in the South-South and all the states in the zone actively participated,’’ he said.

Baba also stated that the police had successfully repelled many attacks on public buildings and structures in the two zones during the period under review.

He said: “For record purposes, following the launching of ‘Operation Restore Peace,’ we have so far recovered the following weapons and arms from secessionists and insurgents:

“One general-purpose machine gun, 10 AK 47 riffles, nine locally fabricate riffles, four locally fabricated pistols, 19 AK 47 magazines, 5419 live ammunition with 10 improvised explosive devices.

“In terms of arrests, we have 398 armed robbery suspects, 258 cult-related offenders, 222 murder suspects, 202 bandits-related suspects and 86 suspects involved in cases of kidnapping. 434 firearms of various descriptions were also recovered.

“These statistics are from April 7 till date,” he said.

The police czar also appreciated the support the force had been receiving from the government and the Police Trust Fund, leading to the successes being recorded.

He said: “On the part of the government, since my assumption of office, we have been able to receive a lot of support and practical taking in of logistics by the Nigeria Police.

“The Police Reform Team, of which I am a member, has taken off to reposition the Police in terms of administration and operations.

“We have also started receiving support from Police Trust Fund in terms of training, welfare and logistics.”

The Police boss also announced that the Kaduna-Abuja and Abuja-Lokoja-Benin highways, hitherto a beehive of kidnappers and criminals, had now been put under radar surveillance to ensure the safety of motorists and road users. (NAN)

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