The Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, yesterday launched a special operation to tackle the increasing rate of kidnapping and robbery on the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
‘Operation Puff Adder’ ,according to Adamu, is a well thought out and major operation aimed at re-dominating and reclaiming the public space from heinous criminal elements bent on threatening the internal security order.
It will cover Abuja-Kaduna highway and the adjoining communities and extend to Kogi, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states.
Adamu ,speaking at the event, said:”To the criminal elements, 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 IGP said crimes, particularly those that endanger the lives and property of citizens, do not represent the traditional values as a people.
“No nation develops to its optimal potential in an environment of crimes 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.
“Take the battle to their doorsteps and make a clear statement that the few deviants among us cannot and will not re-order our cherished national values.
“The time is now and today’s action by the police is aimed at this direction and it is in direct compliance with the directives of Mr President to the police, to re-evaluate and emplace new operational strategies.
“This is in order to stem the tide of kidnapping, armed robbery, armed banditry and sundry highly organised crimes across the country within the shortest possible time.”
He noted that no police agency anywhere in the world, no matter how well-trained, equipped or motivated, can solely achieve its community security and safety mandate.
He said this could not be achieved without the support of the community it is engaged to serve.
“It is in consequence of this that the police are 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 to achieve the objectives of this special operation, the full support of the civil populace, particularly traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth associations and market bodies would be needed.
He charged the policemen deployed in the special operation to see their deployment as a call to national duty.
“The force leadership and the entire nation are looking out for two major outcomes as you discharge your duties during this operation.
“First to protect them from kidnappers, armed robbery and other heinous criminals and to be professionals 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 their will or threaten citizens within the area of jurisdiction.
Several units of mobile police, other special tactical operatives like the counter-terrorism unit, Intelligence Response Team, Special Tactical Squad, are deployed to curb kidnapping, armed banditry, robbery and other related violent crimes.