The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has lauded success made by the Nigeria Police Force in fighting against bandits in Sokoto state and other states of federation.
Baba disclosed this when he met with Strategic Police Managers — Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, Commissioners of Police and the Force Management Team at the newly upgraded IGP’s Smart Conference Hall, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the meeting was aimed at reviewing the country’s internal security and re-evaluating strategies to advance the Police mandate of providing public safety for all and sundry in Nigeria.
The IGP who lauded the significant progress in the Police anti-crime operations nationwide leading to a downward trend in the frequency of major crimes across the country, attributed it to the individual and collective sacrifices, professionalism and enhanced operational efficiency cum efficacy of his administration’s current strategies.
While counting the massive successes of “Operation Sahara Storm” and its significant achievements in bandits’ enclaves within Illela, Rabbah and Goronyo Local Government Areas of Sokoto State between 20th and 29th January, 2022, the IGP stated that aside the destruction of all the camps and other assets of the bandits in the criminal enclaves, a total of thirty-eight (38) suspected bandits/terror elements were arrested while thirty-two (32) AK-47 rifles, one (1) Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher, one thousand four hundred and twelve (1,412) 7.62mm live ammunition, one thousand two hundred (1,200) rounds of live AA ammunition, one (1) locally fabricated revolver pistol, three (3) motor vehicles, and two (2) motorcycles, ten (10) cartons of Pentazocine BP 30 Injections, cash sum of Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N800,000.00) and three (3) pairs of Army camouflage uniform were recovered during the operation.
The IGP noted that aside “Operation Sahara Storm”, crimes statistics between January, 2022 till date, revealed that thirty-six (36) terror elements, seventy-eight (78) murder suspects, one hundred and ten (110) armed robbery suspects, fifty (50) kidnapers and one hundred and fifty (150) cultists were arrested during various police operations across the country. Equally, two hundred and four (204) kidnapped victims were successfully rescued, while one hundred and fifty-five (155) firearms of various descriptions and one thousand, five hundred and sixty-one (1,561) live ammunition were also recovered.
Commenting on the upcoming 2023 general elections, the IGP affirmed the commitment of the Force leadership not to only deal with politically related infractions that could ensue, but also with preparations ahead to guarantee the security and credibility of the elections. The IGP assured that the Force will engage all officers in activities that will fully prepare them for the effective performance of policing roles in the elections, part of which remains close working relationship with the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Nigeria Police Legal Chamber towards dissecting the provisions of the Electoral Act as recently amended. This is with a view to ensuring that all policing activities are in tandem with the amended Electoral Act 2022.
The IGP reemphasized that while Stop and Search strategy could occasionally be an invaluable anti-crime tactic, such should not be done without requisite approval, must not be a permanent strategy and must equally be conducted with extant police protocols which emphasizes civility to members of the public with the highest level of professional decorum. Strategic Police Managers were charged to review this tactic and ensure their operations conform strictly with the IGP’s policing vision.
While soliciting the continued understanding and support of Nigerians, the IGP reassured of his commitment to the police reform project, with assurances to continually provide responsible and responsive leadership that will address the fears of crimes and engender seamless police and citizens’ partnership in the fight against crime+6 in the country.