The Nigeria Police Force has directed its officers and men to intensify on-going raids on identified criminal hideouts and flash-points nationwide.
The move is part of “elaborate security arrangement and crime prevention strategies’’ announced by the force on Friday to ensure a crime-free Christmas celebration.
In a statement, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah, said the directive was from the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris to Commissioners of Police in the 36 states and the FCT
Awunah said, “ The Nigeria Police Force has put in place a robust and elaborate security arrangement and crime prevention strategies to ensure crime free Christmas celebration nationwide’’.
Accordingly, conventional policemen and the personnel of the specialised units of the force have been deployed to provide effective security and protection of life and property nationwide during the Christmas
“The specialised units comprise the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Federal Highway Patrol, Explosive Ordinance Department, the armament unit, Sniffer Dogs Section, the Marine Police and Police Air Wing.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other security agencies, including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), had announced similar measures.
Awunah said that police patrol teams had already been deployed on highways and major roads across the country, while surveillance squads would cover worship centres and other public places.
He advised motorists, commuters and other road users to cooperate with police detachments and personnel deployed to maintain law and order on the highways and major roads nationwide.
“The IGP has directed the Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police in charge of zonal and state commands to personally be on ground to coordinate the operations in their jurisdictions.
“The police officers and men are under strict instructions to be very polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their duty during the period.
“They are to observe and respect the diversity and peculiarity of the people, display courage, show compassion and demonstrate professionalism in their interaction and engagement with the citizenry throughout this period.’’
Reaffirming that the ban on the use of fireworks remained in force, the police spokesman advised parents and guardians to prevail on their children and wards to desist from these acts.
He noted that the use of fireworks were capable of causing tension, fear and apprehension, and warned that violators would be promptly arrested and prosecuted.
“ The IGP on behalf of the entire officers and men of the force heartily rejoices and felicitates with all Christians in Nigeria and worldwide as they celebrate this year’s Christmas.
“He encourages them to propagate peace, demonstrate love, forgiveness and tolerance by promoting harmonious co-existence with fellow citizens, irrespective of religious, ethnic or political inclination.
“Finally, the IGP expresses satisfaction and gratitude to the members of the public for their cooperation with the personnel of the force across the country.
“He therefore enjoins every Nigerian to sustain the support for the Nigeria Police Force during the Christmas and into the New Year 2017,’’ he said.