The Police, on Monday, inaugurated Operation Puff Adder as parts of efforts to curb banditry and kidnapping in Kogi State.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG 8), Mr. Moses Jitoboh, who inaugurated the operation, called on stakeholders to join hands with the Police to ensure the success of the operation.
He said stakeholders’ support became necessary because the operation, by its design, depends on the people in various communities to achieve its objective.
According to him, those behind the incessant acts of banditry and kidnapping dwell among the people, adding that they should be reported to security agents for proper action.
Jitiboh urged traditional rulers and leaders of the socio-cultural groups in the state to be ready to work with the Police by volunteering useful information about criminals and their hideouts.
He said that officers and men of the operation have been mandated to pursue and fish out criminals from the bush and other hideouts.
The AIG assured that officers and men of the operation would discharge their duty professionally and without infringing on the rights of citizens.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Hakeem Busari, said that a 340-man squad had been deployed for the operation in the state, adding that their effort would be complemented by more officers and men from the command.
Busari also said that policemen would be deployed to highways, flash points and some communities facing security challenges.
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello has promised to provide logistics for the squad to enable it achieve its targets.
Bello, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashde Ayoade, admonished criminals and their sponsors to desist or be ready to face the consequences of their crime.
He said that criminals would not be allowed a space to operate, saying that he was unwavering in his determination to make the state secure for people to live and invest in.
The Special Adviser to the governor on security, Mr. Jerry Omodara, urged men and officers of the squad to focus on recovery of arms from criminals.
He reiterated that any house found to be hideouts of criminals would be demolished, according to law of the state.
Responding on behalf of traditional rulers and community leaders, the Ohimege of Koton Karfe, Isah Koto, promised the support of his colleagues to ensure the success of Operation Puff Adder.
He, however, pleaded with the state government to provide more funds and equipment to the Police to enable them to discharge their constitutional mandate.