The new Commissioner for Police in Anambra State, Aderemi Adeoye, is not begging criminals to leave Anambra State. But one thing he assures them is that they will not leave the state alive. This much the new CP told journalists at the Anambra State Police Command Headquarters, Awka, Wednesday, at their maiden encounter with him, reports Jude Atupulazi.
Adeoye, who has been in the state for over ten years holding various positions, said he was ready to execute to the letter, the mandate given Police Commissioners across the country by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, for them to introduce and improve on new strategies in combating insecurity.
Adeoye said he had already swung into action by eliminating two kidnappers, recovering vehicles and various weapons and ammunitions from hoodlums in two separate operations within 24 hours; as well as rescuing a kidnapped woman.
Fides gathered that the first incident was in Uga when men of the Command went after two SUV vehicles being driven at breakneck speed, only for the hoodlums in the vehicles to open fire at them. The officers took cover and retaliated until the occupants fled into the bush leaving copious amount of blood in the vehicles, as well as arms and ammunition. It was while they were there that the officers received an urgent call by members of the Anambra Vigilance Group, AVG, that they were engaged in a shootout with some criminals in Ichida.
The police squad rushed there and together with men of the AVG they neutralized two of the kidnappers, while recovering arms and ammunition. A woman was also rescued there after she was kidnapped in Abatete.
Adeoye, while commending the efforts of the Anambra State Government to empower the youth, advised them to key into such programmes and refrain from a life of criminality. He however said that those who chose to shun the opportunity and take to criminality would have the police to contend with and would be shown no mercy.
‘We will do all it takes to reduce crime to the barest minimum. We are not in the habit of telling criminals to relocate from the state. We have what it takes to deal with them here rather than sending them out to worry other states,’ he said, even as he disclosed that the Southeast would be made hot for criminals, given the collaborative arrangement by sister security agencies in the zone.
On the sit-at-home phenomenon, the new CP said it was a complex issue as the Biafra agitation had become a sentimental issue for many who felt marginalized. To that extent, he noted, there were people who would really want to stay back home to demonstrate their aversion to their perceived treatment in the country.
However, he said there were also those who used those days as an opportunity to dodge work. In both cases, he said, the police could not go and drag them out. The only duty of the police, he said, was to protect those who decide to come out and go about their businesses.
Adeoye however said the sit-at-home directives remained illegal as a court had proclaimed.
‘The police will continue to protect citizens from harm according to the best of our ability. We cannot drag out people who want to sit at home but those who choose to go to work will be protected,’ he assured.
He advised shop owners to arrange for vigilantes to protect their areas, while some policemen would be deployed to assist, even as he promised to secure the black spots as well as bad road portions where hoodlums choose to strike.
The CP who is known as an action man, said his Command would not tolerate acts of malfeasance from police officers and would not hesitate to discipline those who erred. To this end, he disclosed that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of B Division, Awka, had been redeployed following complaints of harassment of innocent citizens. He said the officer was removed 24 hours after the complaints were made.
He however said that just as his Command would not tolerate acts of malfeasance by the rank and file, it would also not hesitate to reward gallantry and professionalism.
‘There will be no excuses for misconduct as we will deal with anyone doing such, just as we will reward handsomely those who display gallantry and good conduct,’ Adeoye stated.