350 SUSPECTED KIDNAPPERS ARRESTED â€“IGP
A total of 350 arrested suspected kidnappers are now being detained at various police commands in the South-East. The Inspector-General of Police Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo who disclosed this yesterday while addressing officers and men of the Imo State Police Command in Owerri said that this was in spite of the deployment of over 5,000 personnel to the zone to contain the cancer of kidnapping and other violent crimes.
Onovo spoke while on continuation of his assessment and evaluation tour of the current performances of the police in the South East zone on crime control and prevention and maintenance of peace and security .
Expressing utter disappointment on the performance of the Imo State command on crime control and prevention, the Inspector-General of Police said: 'You should try as much as you can to score at least 90 percent in the prevention and control of crime and maintenance of law and order.'
Onovo who admitted that the recent kidnap of four executives of the Lagos council of NUJ and a driver in Abia State had thrown a spanner in the efforts of the police to combat crime in the country expressed regret that a substantial percentage of the problems confronting the police usually emanate from officers who had been found wanting in the discharge of their duties.
The police boss, therefore, assured the public that the four kidnapped journalists and driver would be rescued alive as his men are combing all the nooks and crannies of the areas. 'I can't understand how people kidnapped in Abia State are passed through Imo and eventually dumped in Anambra State without the police arresting such kidnappers,' he said.
As part of measures to arrest kidnapping in the zone, the IGP said that police helicopter, arms, ammunitions, vehicles and other logistics had been procured, adding that 'what we need is intelligence report and information gathering from the public and we are working.'
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aloy Okorie had earlier marshaled out the feats recorded by the command through intelligence gathering and commended the IGP for his continued support to the command.
With the support of the interventionist team from eleven units, a 200-man-anti terrorism squad, use of pick up vans and other incentives, Okorie said that his men had been able to reduce crime to the barest minimum.
He also showered encomiums on his boss for his regular assistance to the police through the provision of brand new vehicles and the release of N5 million for the families of the five police men who lost their lives in active service.
Reacting to the Abia saga, the Mediawheel Development Initiative (MDI) in a statement signed by Collins Obibi called on the country's security planners and executors to go to work henceforth to protect the citizenry as the brazen nature of the kidnappings has shown that the security agencies in the country were either not doing enough or incapable of performing their statutory duty.
'The ugly scenario should also provide food for thought for the authorities at all the strata of government to realize that the path they have toed in the past, especially as it relates to security, was the wrong one hence the urgent need to get hitherto ignored priorities right,' it said. Also reacting, Senator Annie Okonkwo said the incident was one embarrassment too many.
'I am very angry with these remorseless bandits as should be every decent Nigerian, hence this anger must stand our Security agencies on their toes not to remain clueless for too long', the Senator noted. On its part, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) is demanding that the Nigerian government and its security apparatus should vacate the Biafran territory and allow Biafran securities under non-violent MASSOB to take over the security of lives and property in their own land.
In a press statement issued in Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, via text message, MASSOB's National Director of Information, Comrade Uchenna Madu wondered what offence the journalists committed to warrant their kidnap, continued detention, demand for ransom and humiliation.
According to the statement, 'though MASSOB condemns the unfortunate incident which has become a thriving business in Eastern region, we blame the occupied government of Nigeria in Biafraland, which has subjected our people to unemployment, economic, political, religious and psychological slavery'.
MASSOB insisted that since the Nigerian police no longer combat crime, the best option left is to allow the Biafran security operatives to maintain proper and maximum security in their own land 'because Biafrans are creative, industrious, prosperous and above all, do not resort to criminalities as a means of survival.'