The on going assault by the Nigeria Police against criminals across the country, termed, ''Operation Puff Adder'', is certainly yielding the desired results going by media reports. From the South South, South East to the North and West, it has been a harvest of arrests of these criminals by the police as they turn the heat on criminal elements.
Most heart-warming are the successes being recorded against the notorious kidnap gangs along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway. Their activities there had since become a nightmare for travellers and had led to many deaths too.
Away from the North to the South East, especially Anambra State, the police have also been recording great successes. Almost on a daily basis, the police are either bursting criminal syndicates or confronting them in their hideouts. Those being fished out include armed robbers, kidnappers, cultists and the notorious ''One Chance'' operators.
There is no doubt that these are unhappy times for criminals in the country, following this operation that was long overdue. We heartily congratulate the police on their efforts so far. They should not rest on their oars but should prosecute this war to the last.
The momentum created should not be paused as doing so will give the criminals a breather and enable them to plot their escape. Known criminal hideouts must be effectively policed in order to fish out all the bad elements there.
Beyond that, we posit that all those who are caught and found guilty must never be allowed to go free, no matter the pressure from any quarter. We understand that this had often been the case in the past when some arrested criminals are released after negotiations with their families. Such released criminals often go back to unleash terror on those they suspect to have fingered them. This makes nonsense of the police call on the citizenry to release information of bad elements to them.
As the current clamp down on criminal elements therefore continues, we urge the police to resist the temptation of being compromised by families of arrested suspects. They should do their job professionally and ensure that those found guilty are made to face the full wrath of the law.
We will however hasten to also caution the police against turning the on going operation into a money making opportunity by arresting innocent people and extorting money from them as had been witnessed in the past. They should carry out their duties professionally and fairly in order to win people's confidence.
While we hope that the police will not compromise, we urge the citizenry to continue to cooperate with the police for better results. We once more congratulate the police on their successes so far.