By Hammed Shittu
The new Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Bagega, has pledged his administration’s commitment to reinvigorate the anti-kidnapping squad of the police command to combat rising cases of kidnapping in the state.
The pledge of the police commissioner, according to THISDAY checks, might not be unconnected with the rising cases of kidnapping in some parts of the state especially in the Kwara North senatorial zone of the state.
Speaking with journalists during his maiden press briefing in Ilorin yesterday, Bagega said the police command monitoring unit-ex-squad and anti-kidnapping squad-would be strengthened for maximum efficiency.
He stated that he had directed that a vehicle be provided for the squad to ensure effective discharge of duties.
Bagega added: “Even before my arrival here, I’ve heard of some areas in Kwara North and some other areas in the state.
“Immediately I came into the state, I met with members of the anti-kidnapping squad, and I quickly provided them with vehicles for distress calls. I discovered they had no vehicle when I came. I also held meetings with some stakeholders on how to tackle crimes in their different communities.
“Especially, there’s a place called Woro in the Ilorin East Local Government Area of the state, where members of the community were apprehensive of the arrival of a herder and his cattle from Niger to the place.
“The matter was quickly addressed before it got escalated to violence, and the man has now moved to Kogi State.”
The state police boss, who called for support and collaboration of traditional rulers, community heads and residents of the state in curbing crimes and maintaining status of the state as a State of Harmony, asked the people to report any strange face or movement to law enforcement agencies to ensure law and order.
“It will interest you to know that within the short time of my arrival in the state, the arrest of one Akewusola Suleiman in Ilorin mini campus area was made while vandalising and stealing solar panels installed by the state government.
“Efforts are in progress to arrest his accomplices. This is to sound a note of warning to would-be criminal elements that it would not be business as usual in the state.
“I have since directed the raiding of criminal hideouts, and many suspects have been arrested and are undergoing interrogation. If found culpable of any crime, they will be charged to court,” Bagega said.
The police boss, who said he would also tackle incessant cases of cult-related killings and armed robbery, promised to collaborate with law professionals in the state to look into cases of awaiting trial to ensure justice is served, and on time.