By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
Lokoja – The Nigerian Army Wednesday in Lokoja paraded 17 criminals, including two kingpins of the Boko Haram sect.
This came as the Governor Yahaya Bello who was at the parading said that houses where the Boko Haram suspects and others were arrested would be demolished so as serve as a deterrent to others.
Apart from the members of the Boko Haram, those arrested and parade also included the hoodlums that attacked a police station in Eika, Okehi local government area of Kogi state which killed two police officers about three weeks ago.
The Commander, Army Record Command, Lokoja, Kogi state, Brig-Gen Henry Ayamasowe while parading the suspects before the state governor, Yahaya Bello, at the Chari Megumeri barracks, said the people were picked up following a special operation of the army.
He said the operations led by Lt. Col A Ayoola, combed the entire central senatorial district of the state for about three days before the breakthrough could be recorded.
He said the operation also led to the arrest of armed robbers and kidnappers that had been terrorising the state in the past few months.
Ayamasowe stressed that insurgents had been trooping down to the state massively in the last three years, giving rise to the presence of Boko Haram members in the state.
He said the Boko Haram kingpin was arrested in one of the sect’s cell in Okene after a manhunt by men of the Nigerian Army.
According to him, dangerous weapons including AK 47 riffles, EIDs, 19 face masks with Boko Haram arabic inscription, locally made guns, phones, sim cards among others were recovered from the criminals.
Speaking at the parade, Bello stated that all the houses where the people were arrested would be demolished as a deterrent for those going into crime in the state.
The governor noted that the state was a wrong place for criminals as his administration had resolved to smoke them out.
He said, “We are going after them, we will get them and we are getting them, security agents and the entire people must be vigilant, my administration will not condone any form of criminality, where ever they are, we will smoke them out”.
Bello however said he would continue to invest in the security of the people, urging the people of the state to always volunteer information that would further make the state safer for them to work and live.