By Emma Amaize
WITH the string of successes in recent time by the police in Delta State, including the arrest of seven kidnap kingpins, the state commissioner of police, Alhaji Mamman Tsafe, strongly believes that the end of kidnappers in the state would come sooner than later.
He has, therefore, called on the citizens to give the police all necessary information to smoke out kidnappers from their hideouts.
Tsafe, who is presently on familiarization tours of Divisional Police Stations under his command took time off to visit the Olu of Warri, Ogiama Atuwatse II, the Orodje of Okpe, Orhue I, and other royal fathers to solicit their assistance, while intimating them with the plans to rid the state of kidnappers and other criminals.
At the palace of the Olu of Warri, the monarch was full of praises for him over the arrest of the seven suspected kidnap kingpins in the state and urged him to tame the menace. The suspects were earlier paraded by the commissioner at the Area Police Command, Warri.
One of the kidnap gangs was allegedly behind the kidnap of a 36-year-old pregnant woman from Ondo State , Mrs. Odiase Akinyele, who they took to a thick forest at Agbarho from where they put a call to the family, demanding a ransom of N5 million.
The police boss said the leader of the gang, Ochuko, who engaged the police in a shootout, was shot dead and others arrested.
The second gang, according to the commissioner, operated from Okpara Water side in Ethiope East local government area and was behind the abduction of a 72- year- old man, currently receiving treatment abroad following the torture he received from the suspected kidnappers.
The third gang, said to be based at Isiokolo, is reportedly led by one Kesiena, assisted by Keme. Kesiena is believed to be a notorious criminal in the area and reportedly has an efficacious native charm that makes it impossible for gunshot to penetrate his body.
A police source confirmed that gun shots fired at him in some encounters with the police in the past did not enter his body.
Among the items recovered from the kidnappers were AK47 assault rifles, cut to size guns, charms of various make and cable wire used in tying their victims.
At the palace of the Orodje of Okpe, Tsafe told the monarch that the police were ready to work with the people and urged the citizens not to be skeptical.
The police boss said they should send information to him without including their names if they so wished on the activities of criminals in their areas, assuring that the identities of the informants, if supplied, would be protected.
He enjoined the monarch, a retired army officer, to use his office to assist the police and make the state peaceful.
The Okpe monarch told the commissioner that his subjects were doing everything to see that the issue of kidnapping in the kingdom was stamped out.
He was, however, particular about Sapele, which he urged the police boss to closely monitor so that it would not expand to the infamous situation in Abia State.
He drew the commissioner’s attention to some flashpoints in the kingdom, including Ugolo, Uwhagba, Okurekpeghre and Okuokoko, where robbers and fraudsters were practically having a field day.
The monarch also said that the Okuovo Police Post , along the Warri-Sapele Road, was grossly understaffed and that had made the area a crime prone.
At Sapele, Tsafe read the riot act to kidnappers, saying the police would chase them out of the town in matter of time.
He, nevertheless, appealed for help from the people, saying, “I believe that Sapele people can also help the police to drive away all kidnappers in the town, because if Sapele people do not want to be part of the victims of kidnapping, then, they should join the police to fish out the kidnappers”.
He reiterated the need for Deltans to always give useful information that will help the police to track down kidnapers, adding, “We are going to do our best to protect lives and property because we want Sapele and other parts of Delta State to be peaceful”.
The police boss also appealed to other security agencies to join hands with the police to fight kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminals in the town, saying, “That will help us to apprehend the kidnappers and others who are always on the run”.
The commissioner assured the Sapele Police Division of more arms and ammunition to ease its operations. Earlier, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Emmanuel Iguodala, a chief superintendent of police, CSP, noted that Sapele Police Division was in dire need of arms and ammunition for the men to perform their job.