The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, says 1,154 suspected kidnappers were arrested across the country between January and August.
Mr Adamu, who made the disclosure on Monday during the South-west Geopolitical Zone Security Summit held in Ibadan, said that 147 of the arrests were made in the South-west.
He said 837 victims of kidnapping were rescued with 106 of such achieved in the South-west.
He further said: ”Between January and August, a total of 552 murder suspects were arrested with 66 such arrests effected in the South-west.
”2,015 armed robbery suspects were arrested with 363 of the figure arrested in the zone.
”1,183 suspected cultists were napped, out of which 425 were arrested in the zone.
”In relation to recovery, 1,356 firearms of various calibre and descriptions were recovered in various intelligence-led operations by the Police, with 277 of such recoveries made in the South-west.
”Similarly, 21,300 ammunition of various descriptions and calibre were recovered with the highest number of 5,270 ammunition recovered from criminal syndicates in the zone.
”Also, 1,541 stolen vehicles were recovered across the country, with 482 of such recoveries in South-west,” he stated.
The IGP said the police, in recent months, have developed capacity and demonstrated the requisite professional zeal.
He, however, said there were isolated cases of kidnapping and armed robbery in the South-west, particularly along Benin-Ore-Lagos highway and across Ondo state.
He said the current operations of the police and other security agencies across the country, particularly along Niger- Kogi- FCT -Kaduna -Katsina and Zamfara state have been successful.
“The operations areas have engendered a dispersal and relocation of some of the criminals to new localities including the South-west.”
He said a special operation was underway across South-west to specifically address the threat of kidnapping and armed robbery on the highways and other locations.
Mr Adamu further disclosed that 40,000 Community Police Officers (CPOs) would be recruited in order to give full effect to Community Policing Vision as a pathway towards bridging security gaps across the country.
He said the CPOs would be recruited from within the communities where the prospective applicants reside.
He called on the security stakeholders in the zone to support the police in strengthening and advancing in the interest of communal and internal security.
Reading the communique at the end of the summit, the host governor, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, said that the IGP has approved the deployment of special forces to be commanded by a Commissioner of Police.
Mr Makinde said the CP would lead a Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) team to support the crime-fighting initiative of the state commissioners of police.
Mr Makinde said the governors of the South-west states have made a commitment towards the provision of more serviceable, fast-moving patrol vehicles in support of crime-fighting, which shall be launched in no distant future, to complement the available fleet.
He said the traditional rulers have promised to join hands with the police to take the ongoing fight against heinous crime to the doorsteps of the criminals.
”The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has equally agreed to partner with the police in fighting crime to bring it to the lowest ebb.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governors of Oyo and Osun were present at the occasion while Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti were represented by their deputy governors.
Traditional rulers across the South-west and Gani Adams- the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land also participated in the summit.
Among the monarchs were Ooni of Ife- Oba Enitan Igunwusi, Oba of Lagos- Rilwan Akinolu, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo- Alake of Egba land and Oba Akanmu Adetunji- Olubadan of Ibadan.
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