The police said they have arrested 50 cultists and smashed 50 robbery gangs in Bayelsa State in their renewed campaign against crime in the state.
A statement by the state Commissioner of Police, Don Awunah, reads in full:
You will recall that upon assumption of duty few months ago, and after a deliberate cursory analysis of the prevalent crimes in the State, we introduced Operation Safer Bayelsa (OSB).
Operation Safer Bayelsa (OSB) as a comprehensive crime reduction strategy was designed as a frontal attack on crime and criminal elements in the State through intelligence driven policing, proactive policing and coordinated response to distress calls, anchored on community policing principles. Indeed the Command has recorded huge gains in this direction.
The Command has enjoyed the tremendous support and assistance from the Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, the government and the people of the State whose valuable flow of information on criminal activities has remained critical to our successes.
Also, the creative partnership of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Liberty Organizations (CLOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Eminent Persons Forum, Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC), the Press, Youths and Women groups. Together we were able to surmount the enormous challenges of confronting armed robbers, kidnappers, cultist, drug dealers and mop up arms and illegal weapons from the possession of unauthorized individuals in the State.
Activities of cult groups and criminal gangs remain the major driver of violent crimes in the State. With the passage of SECRET CULTS/SOCIETIES AND SIMILAR ACTIVITIES PROHIBITION (AMENDMENT) LAW, 2018 by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the State has further empowered the Police to clampdown decisively on cultist and cult related violence in the State.
In the renewed onslaught on cultists, the Anti Cultism Unit (ACU) of the Command has arrested over fifty (50) confessed members of different cult groups, some of which have been charged to court while others are undergoing investigation.
The proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country has fueled internal insecurity in the country. It is against this background that the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni directed Commissioners of Police to mop up arms and ammunition in the country.
In Bayelsa, despite the intervention of the Amnesty Programme, considerable number of illegal arms and ammunition are in circulation in Bayelsa State. In compliance to the IGPs directive, the Command has been able to mop-up forty-nine (49) illegal firearms in the hands of criminal elements in the State.
Similarly, the Command has equally, deliberately targeted and smashed a cluster of fifteen (15) armed robbery gangs and arrested suspects, recovered arms and ammunitions and stolen property. These have directly led to the reduction of crime rate in the State to a tolerable level.
Drug abuse is one of the major factors that fuels crime. Most criminal acts are perpetrated under the influence of substance. The Command through actionable intelligence and with the cooperation of members of the public has dislodged about fifteen (15) drug peddlers in the State, disrupting their supply chain. Similarly, twelve firearms/ammunition of different caliber, narcotics, weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, were recovered from the drug peddlers. We have initiated Inter Agency collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to further conclude our investigation.
It is instructive at this juncture to point out that these achievements among many others were possible essentially, due to the guidance, policy direction, logistics support and motivation of the Inspector-General of Police IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, a courageous apostle of democratic policing, an asset to democracy and rule of law.
The Inspector-General of Police has remained an ardent believer in principles and core values of community policing. A paradigm shift from reactionary-traditional policing, a driver of the change mantra in Police and a crusader in Police reforms. A resource person in international policing styles and culture of excellence, an epitome of ethical leadership and a true believer in the Nigerian project.
Since mounting the saddle of leadership of the Nigeria Police Force, he brought his international exposure, experience and professionalism to bare on the internal security framework. An acclaimed international peacekeeper, who has devoted over a decade in United Nations system, restoring peace and security in troubled zones of the world. A highest national honor recipient in the republic of Timor Leste for the exceptional contribution in restoring security and community harmony in the then war ravaged East Asian Country. This was after successfully playing a significant role in post war Liberia in 2003, where he midwifes the return to civil authority, peace and security.
IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni is a model to law enforcement practitioners in this country and in the international system. We in Bayelsa State Police Command have implicit confidence, trust and believe in the capacity of the IGP. We pledge our unalloyed loyalty and support to the IGP in the onerous task of driving and leading the internal security initiatives in a complex country Nigeria.
Bayelsans are enjoined to continue to avail the Police the necessary support, assistance and understanding.
Crime control and management is a collective responsibility.