CHRISTIAN ABURIME

In his avowed determination to rid Anambra State of criminalities, Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo’s directive that all kidnappers and other criminal gangs’ hideouts be raided and buildings harbouring them be destroyed was effectively carried out in Oba, Idemili South local government area, on Friday, May 10, 2022. Anambra State Joint Security Task Force conducted the demolition exercise, which lasted for more than five hours at the hideout of the notorious kidnappers, an old bungalow building at Oba, Idemili South Council Area.The hideout has earlier been raided recently, where exhibits such as locally made pistol, shrine, charms, concoctions, indian hemp, among other incriminating materials were recovered at the building with some arrests also made.However, it will be recalled that a gang of kidnappers were traced to the hideout by the Police, following an attack and subsequent kidnap of two persons at Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area, and another two persons in Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area.The gunmen had entered Oko through Nanka for a kidnap operation and were on the verge of succeeding before the prompt intervention of the police special force acting on a tip- off and subsequently engaged them in gunfire.One of them was killed, but others escaped with various degree of injuries.The gunman killed at Oko, whose video went viral on some social handles, was identified as a former vigilante, who was part of a four-man gang who have been involved in high profile killings and kidnapping within that vicinity.The State Police Command Spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, had explained that the Command received distress call about the kidnap of two persons at Oko, and while on their trail, they learnt that the gang had kidnapped two more persons at Ekwulobia, and quickly pursued them and were able to track them down. He explained further that Police operatives working with the vigilante stormed the location, on Sunday, rescued the four victims and arrested one Emeka who was suspected of complicity.When interrogated, he confessed to the crime and led detectives to the hideout of his gang in Oba, Idemili South, where a shootout ensued.According to Mr. Ikenga, the gang leader, one Chinedu Ajogu, AKA Sampolo was gunned down and five other persons including their native doctor were arrested for interrogation.Addressing journalists later at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Governor Chukwuma Soludo commended the efforts of the State Joint Security Task Force saying the demolition exercise would serve as a deterrent to other criminals.Governor Soludo explained it has been established that the building demolished was being used as a den for criminal activities, stressing that the government policy does not allow any criminality to reign in the state.He warned that henceforth, in line with the law, criminals will have no place in any part of Anambra state, assuring that his government is fully determined to ensure that the state is safe for everyone, and that people can move freely around without fear or molestation. He also applauded the cooperation by some people in the state who have been volunteering information, adding that every stranger is suspicious until his or her job is confirmed to be legitimate. Governor Soludo again re-emphasised that any building being used for any criminal activities will be brought down and confiscated by government. He also appealed to the people to be security cautious at all times, stressing that they should always report strangers and criminals operating in their communities to Security agencies.

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