Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Nigeria Police Force Thursday said a total of 93 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers have been arrested in the past two weeks in joint operations in Kaduna, Niger and Katsina states.
Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, who made the disclosure at Katari village along Kaduna-Abuja highway, said more than 500 live ammunitions were recovered from the suspects.
He added that the joint operations comprised policemen from operations, intelligence, technical, counter-terrorism and special protection units among others.
He said that the arrests and seizures were part of the successes of Operation Puff Adder launched to clear criminals away from Kaduna-Abuja expressway and Nigeria at large.
He said that the operation was largely to tackle kidnapping, robbery and banditry giving Nigerians sleepless nights, adding that the successes recorded so far were huge.
“The suspects were arrested from Matari Forest, Niger axis and some were pursued to as far as Katsina,” he added.
The Force spokesman stressed that the Office of the Inspector General of Police provided supervisory and supportive roles to the entire operations.
“We are determined to descend very hard on criminals. We recovered 37 AK 47 rifles, 12 locally made guns, a revolver pistol, 60,000 fake US dollars, military uniforms and a foreign made pistol.
“Few days ago, the IG rolled out new counter kidnapping strategy, it would also help us curtail such criminality in Nigeria,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner in Kaduna State, Ali Janga, has assured farmers in Birnin Gwari and other volatile areas that it was now safe for them to return to their farms.
According to him, the new operations, being conducted in synergy with all the commanders of various units have achieved tremendous success.
“Farmers who farm along Kaduna-Abuja expressway, Birnin Gwari and other volatile areas can go back to their farms, it is now safe,” Janga said.
One of those arrested who claimed to be a cleric, Salisu Abubakar, said he was aware that his clients belonged to criminal gangs, but that he only supported them with “goodluck charms.”