•We lost 18 men trying to expose kidnappers, say locals
•Five paraded for abduction of Kogi governor’s mother
The Police High Command has deployed 600 special forces and 90 high calibre patrol vehicles to curb increasing cases of kidnapping on Abuja-Kaduna highway, it was learnt yesterday.
Army and the Police have also constituted a joint operation to arrest crimes on the same road.
Senate Leader Senator Ahmed Lawan told his colleagues yesterday that the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idriss, briefed the Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on Police Affairs about the latest efforts to arrest kidnapping on the road.
But, the Force spokesman, CSP Jimoh Moshood, named the deployment as Operation Absolute Sanity.
Moshood, while parading five suspected kidnappers yesterday in Abuja, said: “The Joint Police Team are under specific and definite mandate to root out the kidnap for ransom gangs and armed robbery gangs that have being terrorising the Abuja-Kaduna highway in the recent times.
“The operations is to complement and augment the on-going Joint Police and Military operations on ground before now.”
To achieve success of the operations, DIG in charge of Operations Joshak Habilla has been mandated to supervise the operation as overall commander.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police In-Charge of the Police Mobile Force would be the grand commander of the operations.
The team is expected to stop other violent crimes such as armed robbery, car snatching on the expressway.
Moshood added: “Police helicopters will embark on aerial surveillance and guided missions to assist the personnel on the ground in covering difficult terrains.
“The IG urges members of the public, most especially commuters, travellers, road users and people in the towns and villages on Abuja-Kaduna Highway not to panic on the mass deployment of police personnel, but to assist and cooperate with the police personnel in the discharge of their responsibilities.”
But, the people of Rijana community on the Kaduna-Abuja highway yesterday told Minister of Interior Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd) why kidnappings persisted on the highway.
They said intelligence information divulged to security agents were not treated with secrecy and often led to killings of the informants.
The community, however, said synergy with security personnel in the area could no longer be guaranteed, as 18 members of the area, who attempted to expose the activities of the deadly kidnappers, were killed.
The minister declared kidnappers operating on the highway as terrorists that must be crushed by all means.
The former Army chief, who was in Rijana on what he called fact-finding mission, called for synergy between the locals and the security operatives deployed to the area by the Federal Government.
The police authorities yesterday paraded five suspected kidnappers for their involvement in the kidnap of mother of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello.
The governor’s mother, Hajia Hawawu Bello, was kidnapped in 2014 by a former councillor, Iliyasu Suleiman and his gang members.
Other suspects paraded were: Danjuma Ibrahim, Iliyasu Obadaki, Alhaji Nasiru, Hafiz Yakubu and Mohammed Jamiu, who was killed during a gun duel with Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives.
Items recovered from them include two AK 47 rifles, 20 live cartridges, Army uniforms, two plastic guns, three sharp knives, one axe and assorted charms.
Moshood said the suspects were also responsible for other kidnappings and robberies in Abuja, Niger and Kogi states.
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