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Let me sincerely welcome you all to this Conference which is convened in furtherance to my policy of constantly engaging strategic Police Commanders to undertake periodic review of internal security situation in the country. This is with a view to proffering pragmatic and far-reaching solutions to crimes in the country. In this regard, the Conference will review the pattern and trend of crimes over the past one month, highlight our achievements, identify our challenges, geo-locate the current security threats and evaluate strategies with a view to strengthening our crime management template.
Within this context, it is noted that while there are still isolated cases of internal security breaches which often attract publicity and national attention, the crime rate in recent times has been on the decline. This is in contrast to the crime records over the preceding months.
The foregoing is consequent upon the enhancement of the institutional capacity of the Nigeria Police to respond to internal security threats and undertake intelligence-led operations. The successes achieved are linked to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ which has been a very potent anti-crime vehicle of the Nigeria Police.
Sequel to the launch of Operation Puff Adder in all the States of the Federation and other security strategies recently emplaced to address internal security threats, a total number of Four Hundred and Twenty Four (424) kidnappers were arrested between 10th May, 2019, and 14th, June, 2019. The highest number of One Hundred and one (101) kidnap suspects were arrested in Kaduna State, followed by Katsina State with Seventy Nine (79) arrests. Fifty Four (54) suspects were apprehended in Nasarawa State and Thirty Two (32) in Taraba State.
In the same vein, a total of Forty Four (44) murder suspects were arrested during the period under review, with the highest number of Seven (7) in FCT and Six (6) in Kano State. In addition, Two Hundred and Seventy Six (276) armed robbery suspects were arrested within the same period with the highest number of Thirty Eight (38) in Edo State, followed by Twenty Five (25) in Nasarawa State and Twenty Three (23) in FCT. Similarly, a total of ten thousand, eight hundred and sixty (10,860) ammunition of various descriptions and calibre were recovered while a total of Three hundred and One (301) firearms including a Rocket Launcher, AK47 assault rifles, pistols and locally made gun, were similarly recovered from criminal elements across the country, with the highest number of eighty (80) in Katsina State, followed by Edo State with Twenty six (26) and Kaduna State with twenty-five (25). Furthermore, One Hundred and Seventy Six (176) suspected cultists were arrested across the country while Seventy Seven (77) stolen vehicles were recovered by Operation Puff Adder operatives nationwide between 10th May, 2019 and 14th June, 2019, with the highest number of Twenty nine (29) in FCT.
It is to be emphasized that the achievements were recorded with the cooperation of members of the public in a manner that clear demonstrates the increasing determination of the citizens to support the Police in restoring internal security. It was also the result of the sacrifice, courage, zeal and exceptional dedication of Police Commanders and other ranks.
I therefore wish to use the opportunity of this forum to immensely thank all well-meaning Nigerians for their support and to commend you and other personnel of the Nigeria Police across all ranks for aligning to my policing vision and supporting the implementation of the strategies emplaced towards restoring internal security. We might have taken giant steps against crime and criminality but the battle is still far from being over. I therefore charge you to sustain the sense of commitment to duty as it represents a sacred call to national duty.
I remain conscious of the challenges across all Commands/Formations and I can assure you that concerted efforts are being made with the support of Mr. President to tackle and bring far-reaching solutions to these challenges.
I want to reassure the citizens that the Nigeria Police has emplaced frameworks that will facilitate the strengthening of operation Puff Adder and ensure the sustenance of its gains. This includes plans directed at re-organising and re-launching the Safer Highway and Safer City Models of Policing which will entail the acquisition of new fleet of vehicles that will be deployed to dominate the public space as well as the emplacement of CCTV and other cutting-edge technologies for city surveillance.
The current attempts at adopting and implementing the concept of Community Policing also represents part of enduring strategies aimed at changing the policing narratives of the country. This will ensure the effective integration of the citizens to our internal security framework, guarantee the concept of policing by public consent and build partnership required to address peculiar communal threats.
In this regard, I want to charge all you all as strategic Police Commanders to redouble your efforts in ensuring the safety and protection of lives and property in your areas of jurisdiction while you provide the requisite leadership to officers and men under your supervision to desist from acts that widen the gap between the Police and the community as it is only when we present a common front that we can defeat the criminals that constitute our common enemies.
Finally, I wish to assure Nigerians of our firm commitment to sustain the war against crimes by taking the battle to the door steps of criminal elements in furtherance to our mission to guarantee the safety and security of our communities. We only request one thing which is the continued goodwill, understanding, and support of all citizens across socio-economic background.
I Thank you all and I look forward to a professionally rewarding conference.