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Police Begin Operation To End Kidnapping On Abuja-Kaduna Highway

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Kidnappers, bandits and armed robbers operating on the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna Highway are in for trouble as the acting inspector-general of police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has launched “Operation Puff Adder” to check their activities.

The massive operation will cover the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and the adjoining communities and extend to Kogi, Katsina, Niger, and Zamfara states.

It involves several units of the mobile police force, special tactical operatives, counter-terrorism unit, intelligence response team, and the special tactical squad.

Adamu said at the launch of the operation yesterday that the units would collectively ensure that kidnapping, armed banditry, robbery and other related violent crimes do not occur on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway again and other parts of the country.

He explained that “Operation Puff Adder” was aimed at “reclaiming and re-dominating” the public space from “criminal elements who are bent on threatening our internal security order.”

To the criminal elements, Adamu warned: “Let me sound this note of warning loud and clear: Give up your criminal activities, embrace other legitimate means of livelihood or be prepared for the consequences of your criminality. The citizens and the police are now united in their resolve to take the battle to your doorsteps and bring you to deserved justice.”

Adamu further said that crimes particularly those that endanger the life and property of Nigerians do not represent “our traditional values as a people and no nation develop to its optimal potential in an environment of crime and fear of criminality.

“Unfortunately, the activities of organised and murderous criminals across the country have evolved to become a threat not only to these values but to our internal security. There must, therefore, come a time in the life of a nation when we, as a people, must strengthen our will, and resolve to mobilise and deploy all our assets towards confronting these criminal elements,” he said.

To his men and officers, Adamu said: “Take the battle to their doorsteps and make a clear statement that the few deviants within us cannot and will not re-order our cherished national values.

“The time is now and today’s action by the Nigeria Police is aimed at this direction and it is in direct compliance with the directives of Mr. President to the Nigeria Police to re-evaluate and emplace new operational strategies to stem the tide of kidnapping, armed robbery, armed banditry and sundry highly organised crimes across the country within the shortest possible time.”

According to him, as a lead agency in internal security management, the Nigeria police under the current dispensation acknowledges that the duty of securing the life and property of the citizens is its primary mandate.

Adamu, however, noted that police alone cannot do it, as he said: “Indeed no police agency anywhere in the world, no matter how well-trained, equipped or motivated, can solely achieve its community security and safety mandate without the support of the community it is engaged to serve.

“It is in consequence of this that the Nigeria Police is collaborating closely with the armed forces, the intelligence community and other sister security agencies in this operation and in its duties across the country,” he said.

The IGP said that to achieve the objectives of this special operation, “we need the full support of the civil populace, particularly traditional, religious leaders, youth associations and market bodies.”

He charged the policemen deployed in the special operation to see it as a call to national duty.

“The force leadership and indeed, the entire nation is looking out for two major outcomes as you discharge your duties during this operation. First, to protect them from kidnappers, armed robbers and other heinous criminals and to be professional in your conduct as you strive to attain this objective,” Adamu said.

He also charged them to be civil with the law-abiding citizens but firm and ruthless with criminal elements that may attempt to take the risk of testing your will or threatening the citizens within the area of jurisdiction.

The police top brass also appealed to the media for support and understanding, stressing that while their role in advancing the freedom of information principle is appreciated, patriotism and ethical values place an obligation on them to avoid sensational and unverified reportage of internal security issues.

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