**Says Operation Puff Adder has fully achieved target
By Kingsley Omonobi
Inspector-General of Police IGP Mohammed Adamu Abubakar said on Monday that in furtherance of Police strategies to checkmating crime and criminal elements in the country, a total of 6, 531 high profile suspects were arrested in various operations.
Speaking at the end of year conference with strategic police officers in Abuja, the IGP gave the breakdown of those arrested as 2,627 armed robbery suspects, 1,621 suspected cultists, 1, 527 kidnapping suspects and 758 murder suspects.
“Within the same period, we also recovered a total of 2,037 firearms of various calibre and descriptions; 21, 870 ammunition and 1,662 vehicles. Similarly, 945 kidnapping victims were rescued in various police-led operations in the country”, he said.
Recalling that on assumption of office on 16th January 2019, the Police management under his leadership inherited an internal security space that was challenged by the prevalent threats of kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, cultism and communal violence across various sections of the country, IGP Adamu said, ” In addition, we inherited a workforce that was demoralized and lacked the requisite motivation, logistics and right orientation and appropriate strategies for optimal performance.
“Against these realities, we immediately launched Operation Puff Adder on 5th April 2019 as an operational intervention blueprint to stabilize the internal security space within the shortest possible time frame.
“With the support of strategic police officers of the Nigerian Police force, the citizens, traditional institutions and government at all levels, I can confidently confirm that the objective of Operation Puff Adder was achieved fully and within the set target period.
Continuing, IGP Adamu said, ” We succeeded in an unprecedented manner in destroying the operational bases of several high profile banditry gangs, kidnapping and armed robbery syndicates. These bases which until now were considered safe havens and a no go area for security operations, we did not only demystify them, we successfully reclaimed the public space from them and denied them the liberty to attack citizens at will without fear of a superior response from gallant operatives of the Nigerian Police”.
‘We also set out to address the welfare concerns by restoring confidence and integrity in the promotion process in the Nigerian Police. Under this policy, we have discouraged the abuses associated with Special promotion and stabilized the promotion system by upholding the principle of merit and seniority.
“Hence the anxiety associated with promotion in the force which often impacts on productivity has been addressed and officers are now motivated, more than ever before, to perform their duties assured that they shall be rewarded within the dictates of our traditional policing standards”.
He, however, clarified that exceptional professional excellence shall still be duly and appropriately recognized where deserving noting that the yardstick for this shall be measurable and the process transparent and immune from abuses.
Regarding Police recruitment, the IGP said, “In relation to manpower gaps, we are glad to note that the recruitment process of the 10,000 Police Constables approved by the federal government under 2019 batch has been successfully completed and the shortlisted candidates are currently undergoing training a various police training institutions across the country.
“Furthermore, in appreciation of the need to enhance operational capacity of the Nigerian Police, we have acquired new sets of policing assets comprising of patrol vehicles, electronic surveillance vehicles, civil disorder management trucks and special operations vans and we have completed the Nigerian Police National Command and Control Centre (NPF-C4i) and the first phase of Nigerian Police Crime and Incident Data Base (NPC & IDB) Centre projects.
While projecting into the future, IGP Adamu said, the agenda of the force in the upcoming year will focus on five thematic areas including, “Improving the overall efficiency of the force through capacity building in policing technology, intelligence, investigation, prosecution as well as crime prevention and control through more robust visible policing architecture”.
” Full implementation of community policing strategy and the strengthening of other strategies with a view to aligning them to projected crimes, thereby remaining ahead of criminal elements and sustaining the current gains we have recorded in our internal security management functions.
“Boosting our special operations capacity. Enhancement of our logistics and operational base through a well thought out re-equipment plan that will lead to acquisition of more operational assets to support our special operations, bridge operational gaps and strengthen the safer highway and safer city initiatives across the country.
” Training and Human capacity development, the improvement of welfare of officers and enhancement of post-retirement conditions through the push for an improved Police Pension entitlement”