By Augustine Ehikioya
Reeling out recent achievements in Zamfara State, the Commissioner of Police (CP) in the State, CP Ayuba Elkanah, has disclosed that three persons have been rescued from bandits, including a three months old child.
He also gave details of weapons and other items recovery in the State.
According to him, many bandits were neutralized during the operations while many of them escaped with gun wounds.
The CP made the disclosure during end of the year Press Conference in the State on Wednesday. It was monitored by Security Watch Africa (SWA).
On the rescued victims, he said “On 15th December, 2021 at about 1330hrs, DPO Bungudu on receipt of a distress call of an intending attack led a Police Tactical team to Rughar Tudu viallge where bandits stormed the community and abducted some people.
“The attack was successfully repelled by the operatives who rescued already three (3) kidnapped victims including a 3 months old baby.
“The victims have been debriefed and reunited with their families after medical check-up,” he said.
Speaking on the recoveries, he said “On 14th December, 2021 at about 1130hrs, Police operatives attached to 78 PMF Squadron Maradun, while on rigorous confidence building patrol along Sokoto – Gusau road came across some armed robbers who are trying to block the road, opened fire on them and the robbers abandoned red Boxer motorcycle at ‘Kwanar Sado’ in Talata Mafara LGA.
“Further search of the scene resulted in the recovery of a magazine of an AK-47 rifle. Preliminary investigation revealed that the abandoned motorcycle was stolen from Garbadu village in Talata Mafara by the armed bandits on 13th December, 2021 at about 2300hrs.”
The motorcycle, he said, was handed over to the rightful owner.
The CP added “Gentlemen of the press, the ongoing Military/Police and other security agencies operations at various bandit’s location has been recording tremendous result/successes.
“You would recall that, last month alone, during my two separate Press Briefings, we have showcased thirteen (13) AK-47 rifles recovered by our Police operatives during a gun battle with the bandits at some locations in Shinkafi and Maradun respectively.
“As a follow-up to that achievements, on 15th December, 2021 our Police Tactical operatives on bush clearance operation at Maradun forest, acted on intelligence information, stormed a suspected bandit’s hideout near Bayan Ruwa.
“The operatives had an encounter with the hoodlums thereby neutralizing many of them while others escaped with possible gunshot wounds.
“In the course of combing/searching the scene, eight (8) AK-47 rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), one Rocket launcher, one Rocket and five magazines were recovered by the operatives,” he stated.
On recovered rustled cows, he said “On 19th December, 2021 at about 1400hrs, Police Tactical operatives led by DPO Bungudu responded to a distress call at Tudun Masu where large number of armed bandits stormed the village and rustled sixty nine (69) cows.
“The Police operatives successfully repelled the bandits after a serious gun battle that lasted for hours. The sixty nine (69) rustled cows have been recovered.
“Sixty (60) cows were identified by their rightful owners and handed over to them, while the remaining nine (9) have been transferred to the State Government committee for the recovery of stolen livestock for further action.”
On attack in Musawa and Keta villages in Tsafe Local Government Area, he said “On 18th December, 2021 at about 1700hrs, a group of bandits numbering about fifty (50) stormed the above villages with intend to attack the communities.
“Police Mobile operatives attached to 42 PMF Squadron Gusau were alerted of the situation, they responded promptly and repelled the attack after a serious gun battle.
“At the end of the encounter, one of the bandits was fatally injured while others escaped with gunshot wounds. An AK-47 rifle with four rounds of live ammunition belonging to the bandits was recovered by the operatives,” he said.
As a way forward for year 2022, he noted that crime and criminalities are becoming more and more sophisticated and there is the need “for us to improve on our strategies to confront the new trend by not only improving on our operational capabilities but also investigative prowess.
“Thus, the Command and other security agencies intend to map out strategies that could improve on the successes achieved in 2021. These we intend to do so in two major segments.
“Improving Efficiency of the Personnel: – By this it means that, effort will be geared towards training and retraining of personnel to cope up with the new trend in confronting hoodlums and other undesirable elements in the society.
“Emphasis will be placed on training of personnel in the area of weapons handling not only for defending the citizens but also eradicating incidences of accidental discharge that proved fatal in most cases.
“They will also be trained to be more civil and respect the dignity of human being and also abide by all the rights and privileges of the citizenry as enshrined in chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution,” he said.
On full Implementation of Community Policing, he said “This is the main policy thrust of the force, because all what was achieved in 2021 had its background from collaboration with other Security Agencies,
“Traditional Rulers, Cultural groups and other Associations that are vital in bringing relative peace in the State. The Year 2022 will witness by God willing, improved synergy with all the critical stakeholders that will usher in a new economically viable and politically stable Zamfara State. These we intend to do in concert with the State Government.
Noting that there have been relative peace in the State in the past two months, he said the press briefing was also to assure members of the public of security agencies preparedness for the forthcoming Charismas and New Year Celebrations.
He said “At the moment, we have made an adequate security arrangement before, during and after the two festivities.
“Our massive deployment of personnel has covered all critical and vulnerable places, especially worship centres and recreational areas.
“This assignment is going to be conducted in total collaboration with other security agencies and critical stakeholders. We are therefore, appealing for cooperation and support to ensure hitch free celebrations.”
He warned the public that ban on fireworks in the State is still in force.
“I want to use this medium to warn all citizen of Zamfara State that, the use of fireworks in the State remained band. Anybody found selling or using it will be arrested and prosecuted.
“I am wishing the good people of Zamfara State and Nigerians in general a peaceful celebration and to use this season to pray for leaders and the Nation for peace and sustainable security,” he stated.
Stressing that the Year 2021 has been very tough and tedious, he said the perseverance and persistent commitment of officers and men, even as some of them paid with their lives, had tremendously impacted to the current relative peace Zamfara State enjoys.
According to him, the ability to maintain the current tempo of peace in the State was due to the support and guidance received on daily basis from the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba.
He added “Similarly, the foresight and the doggedness of the State Government, through the unique leadership of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, Dr. Bello Muhammad Matawalle MON, coupled with the will to succeed was indeed unparallel in the anal history of the State since its creation.
“He has all along drew near all the security agencies in the State by providing the wherewithal necessary to get to the root cause of act of banditry in the state.”
Giving security tips to the public, he said “Finally, considering the manner in which criminal elements perpetrate their devilish criminalities, the Command is issuing some security tips that will help members of the public to take note of any criminal tendency. The security tips have been categorized into three as follows;
“Know your surrounding well to detect strange people;
Install CCTV Cameras at home or office if possible to monitor movement of people around;
Keep/memorize emergency numbers at all times.
“You can create speed dial numbers in your mobile phone just in case you find yourself in a very difficult situation;
“Watch what and where you speak especially on the phone outside your house more especially telling your friends of your plan movement;
“Do not give away any personal information such as phone numbers and home address especially on social networks, website, or to persons unknown to you;
“Do not accept any gift items or persons from strangers;
Warn your wards/children from opening doors/gates to strangers at all times.”
He went on “Avoid over Speeding
Avoid night Journey
Be on seat belt while driving
Don’t drink and drive
Ensure all doors of your vehicle are locked
“Make good use of your sides and inner mirrors to dictate if you are being trail; Ensure that a reasonable gap is given to vehicle in your front;
“Observe the movement of persons while driving in and out of your home; Do not display valuables in your car; Never you leave your children alone in your parked car.”
“Enter vehicle only at recognize motor parks; Do not board a vehicle with only a few passengers inside, they may be armed robbers; Avoid lonely routes
“If you observe any suspicious person or item in the vehicle you are traveling in, raise alarm at any security check,” he said.