By Okonkwo Eze Onitsha
In what looked like a pro-active measure, ahead of the fast approaching Christmas and New year season, officers and men of the Nigerian Army, the Police and Navy may have teamed up to fight crime to a standstill and ensure crime-free yuletide.
Already, authorities of the military cantonment in Onitsha and their Naval Base counterpart have assigned a patrol team each to assist the police in patrolling all nooks and crannies of the commercial city to foil criminal activities.
Sources from Onitsha Police Area Command confirmed that based on the existing synergy among the security agencies, and based on the increasing rate of crime, the three organizations decided to team up and tackle the trend headlong.
The source further hinted that the last-minute struggle by some hoodlums to terrorize the inhabitants of Onitsha in particular and Anambra state in general in a bid to rake in some money for the celebration of the Xmas may have drawn the attention of the security personnel.
It was gathered that hoodlums are now operating indiscriminately in various parts of Onitsha with arms, particularly at nights, dispossessing their would-be victims of all their cash and valuables under gun point, a situation which the security agencies are not comfortable with.
Sources confirmed that the uniformed men usually assemble at the Police Area Command Headquarters, Onitsha during evening hours as a take-off point, adding that the commencement of the team-up exercise, about a forth night ago has yielded a lot of positive results as some of the hoodlums were either apprehended in the act or they escape with bullet wounds each time the military personnel storm the robbery scene.
The Police Area Commander for Onitsha, Mr. Benjamin Wordu, An Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP who simply confirmed the new development to newsmen in his office at the weekend, vowed there would be no safe haven for such criminals in Onitsha before, during and after the yuletide season, adding that more strategies are being mapped out to flush out the criminals.
The Commander of 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Col. T. A. Gagariga who had just been newly promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, decried the menace of some hoodlums who he said usually operate under the name of the Movement for the Actualization of sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB and warned such persons to desist from their criminal acts or face the dire consequencies.
DSP Anthony Ogar, the Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Okpoko Unit, near Onitsha, said they have mapped out strategies to apprehend such hoodlums operating in the area.