Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has warned that there’s no hiding place for criminals in the state as his administration would ensure a working synergy among the security agencies to make the state safe and secured.
Mohammed stated this yesterday at the handing over ceremony of arms and ammunition recovered from criminals by a renowned hunter and fighter of armed robbers and kidnappers, Alhaji Ali Kwara, at the Government House in Bauchi.
The governor said the arms were recovered in Burra forest arising from the activities of Kwara in collaboration with the police who confiscated them from bandits who are now at large.
“There are some informants within and outside the town of Bauchi and environs that are helping us to do this. This is also in collaboration between Bauchi State Government, Ali Kawra, the police and other security agencies so that we will be able to have some concrete engagement with a view to identifying all these bandits, armed robbers that have migrated from Zamfara State and other places looking for abode in our forests.
“We know there are some in Yankari forest. We know there are some in Lame/Burra forest. We know there are some even along Dass road, based on the intelligence reports we are getting from the State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies. The criminals should know by now that there is no hiding place for them to stay in Bauchi State,” he said.
The governor, while thanking the Inspector General of Police for his efforts towards deepening community engagement, handed over the recovered arms and ammunition to Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Philip Maku.
“We will now deliver these arms and ammunition received from Ali Kwara to the Nigeria Police Force. We wish to also ask the Nigerian military to put their members in Ali Kwara team. We are ready to support them with wherever token of support in terms of mobility and logistics to be able to keep Bauchi State safe and secured,” Mohammed said.
Speaking earlier, Kwara told the governor that the guns were recovered from bandits hidden underground in Burra forest after a tipoff report.
“There is an armed robber we have been trailing for a long time. He is involved in kidnapping. He also operated around Taraba, Benue and Plateau states. He used to come from Zamfara State.
“He was brought to me voluntarily by his father, having noticed that I had swung into action and this was affecting some of his colleagues. When he came, he informed me that there were strangers who smuggled arms into Bauchi and that he took part in hiding the guns underground.
“He took us to Lame/Burra forest where we recovered these guns. The boy is in my custody I don’t allow him to go out because people knew him and they might lynch him,” he said.
Kwara, who said 43 guns, 1,117 ammunition and 30 cartridges were recovered from underground, informed the governor that he’s working in collaboration with about 50 police in the fight against armed robbery, banditry and other crimes, a voluntary service he has been doing for 21 years.
He admitted that the police were the ones doing the work and he only coordinated the operations.
Speaking on the occasion, Maku said: “I am taking over these arms and ammunition for further investigation. We are seeing these items as exhibits and it’s good that we carry out proper investigation with a view to arresting the culprits.”
He appealed to members of the public in the state to cooperate with the police by not shielding people with questionable character in their midst, adding that community engagement in security is very important.