In many countries and other social entities in the world, the issue of security is invariably multi dimensional and proactive in scope and depth as well as multi generational in vision, goal and action.
It is this context that section eleven, sub-section one of 1999 Constitution of Nigeria visibly states that “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”, this fundamental constitutional objective of security is reinforced by the Akwa Ibom State statement which envisages the state to become a leading Nigerian state with prosperous, healthy and well educated citizens living in harmony with people and nature and pursuing legitimate interests in freedom moderated by good governance.
Strengthened by such a proactive vision, the Akwa Ibom State government has not left any stone unturned to maximize security of everybody and property in the state. Such a deliberate step has been taken against the backdrop that the state, being a destination of choice strongly desires tourism in particular as well as agriculture, technology and industrialization to be the flagships of its economy.
To this end, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, headed by a very competent and action oriented professional with mercurial dexterities, CP Don Awunah, has been quite and invariably alert to likely areas that may engender insecurity in the state.
In his maiden press briefing held recently at the state headquarters Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, the Commissioner of Police remarked that the unique and strong historical relationship between the Police and the Media as stakeholders in the strive for peace and security of the state and the safety of lives and property has made him deepen and strengthen this relationship for the mutual benefits of the people and actualization of national goals from the stand point of peace and security.
The State Police boss was very appreciative of the support given by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Deacon Udom Emmanuel in matters concerning the Police by not just giving a boost to the morals of officers but has also enhanced their operational capability and efficiency.
CP Awunah also gave Kudos to his predecessor CP murtala Mani for the excellent security architecture he met on ground on assumption of duty. The Police boss assured the press that since there is no limit to improvement, they intend to raise the bar in their crime prevention and reduction strategy saying that they have mapped and sectorized the state for optimal service delivery to the people.
According to him, a careful analyses of the crime profile revealed that cultism, kidnap for ransom, murder, stealing are the most prevalent crime committed in the state. This, he said, gave rise to the birth of OPERATION IMPACT; a crime reduction strategy aimed at – ridding the state of armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, cultism and other anti-social behaviours, apprehending all criminal elements, their collaborators, conduct a thorough discreet investigation into their activities, sustaining a coordinated crack down on crime and criminalities designed to impact positively on the state and engender quality of life as well as promote peace and security. And in respect of rule of law, arraign all proven cases in courts of competent jurisdiction.
The Akwa Ibom Police boss said that the launch of “OPERATION IMPACT” has yielded huge and encouraging gains particularly in Ikot Ekpene Police Area command of the state where a notorious kidnap gang was smashed by operatives leading to the rescue of a Reverend Father of St. Michael Parish, Ikot Etim Village in Ukanafun Local Government Area on the 18th day of February 2017 which upon interrogation, the gang members confessed kidnap cases behind many high profile among others, the kidnap of a lecturer in the State University and a political party stalwart.
He said the suspects are currently under investigation. Exhibits recovered from members of the notorious gang include: one AK-47 rifle, 5 rounds of 9mm ammunition, one-locally made pistol with rounds of ammunition; one-Nissan Primera with registration number GGE861DO; the sum of N180,000.00. The Police again, on 11th February, 2017 arrested one Nkereuwem Victor aged 25years on a motor cycle in Ukanafun Local Government at about 1900 hrs, en route an armed robbery operation. The arrest, the Police boss said, has given insight to gangs who specialize in robbing unsuspecting citizens using motor cycles business as a ploy. Exhibits found on the suspect include – one locally made pistol, 3 – live cartridges; face mask and a torch.
CP Awunah confirmed that an in depth crime analysis has the state. The cult groups identified in the state include: the Litton’s; the Red Skins; St. Stephens; Secret Sons of Satan; Sept II Group; De well; Debam; Scavengers; Predators; King Cobra; Skylolo; JV; Bats; Black Cross; Black Ladies; Sons of Nights; White Angels; Junior Buccaneers; Blood Brotherhood; Musket; Daughters of Queen Amina among other.
He said, “In furtherance to our ‘OPERATION IMPACT’, our security operatives, acting on a tip off arrested six cultists on February 12, 2017 and February 14, 2017, who were planning to unleashed may hem on innocent members of the public”. The following suspects, the boss added, are still under investigation: Emmanuel Nse Bassey (m) aged 21years; Blessed Christopher Udoh (m) aged 21 years; Inemesit Akpan Essien (m) aged 21years; Udeme Michael Christopher (m) aged 31 years; Nyakkno Effiong Ekanem (m) aged 26 years; Ubong Marshall Akpan Udoh (m) aged 27 years; CP Awunah assured that a comprehensive coordinated operation has been emplaced to curb the menace of cultism and other related crimes throughout the state.
The state police boss went further to reveal that on 16th February, 2017 following intelligence shared between Lagos and Akwa Ibom State commands at about 1500hrs, one kia soul car with registration number UW677KJA, chassis/engine numbers KNAJJ811BB7290086, chocolate brown in colour which was stolen at Lagos was recovered by the Police Security Officers in Akwa Ibom State.
He said then suspect confessed to pose as a driver to VIPs after which he disappears with their vehicles, that his route of operation is usually between Lagos and Akwa Ibom State and investigation uncovered several cars stolen by the suspect, one David Emmanuel Akpan (m).
In the area of Vandalization of infrastructures (street light), one Kelechi Ugwuchi (m) aged 29years of No. 10 Ufi Street, Uyo was arrested by detectives of this command on 16th February, 2017 at about 16 25hrs. upon interrogation he confessed to being a receiver and a dealer on high voltage, second hand batteries. Search of his shop and his business premises, equipment used for installation of solar energy street light were recovered.
The suspect mentioned one Kingsley (m); Abdulali (m). Sanko (m); Gwadika (m), as members of his criminal gang; while effort is being intensified toward the apprehension of the members of the gang now at large, investigation is in progress. Items recovered as exhibits include 4 Shoto GFMS – 1000 sealed battery marked with the sign of MTN; 10 Abisson Esu – G 200 WH/A energy storage unit; 8-6-GFM-92×14 12V92 AL cell constant Voltage changing batteries; 2 big bags containing cable wires; one vehicle kick starter; one Dolphin dry cell battery; one king power dry cell battery.
Also on the 11th of February, 2017 at about 1700hrs, the following suspects were arrested in Ikot Obong Village, Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, and confraternity (cultism group). They are -Uduakobong Ime (m) aged 20years; Goodluck Peter (m) aged 22 years; Udobong Ime Isaac (m) aged 20years; one locally made revolves pistol was recovered from them.
CP Awunah however attributed the achievements of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command to the immeasurable goodwill and support of the people of Akwa Ibom who have relentlessly partnered with the Police to fight against crime and also the commitment and dedication to duty of officers of the night to ensure the people of Akwa Ibom State can sleep with both eyes closed.
“This is a continuous fight and our success is an indication that if we all work together, we can overcome crime and make Akwa Ibom more secured and safer for political and socio-economic development our policy objectives will be anchored on the people and creative partnerships”.
The state commissioner of Police, Mr. Awunah observed that the pivotal role of the press, Traditional Rulers; Religious Groups; vigilante members; the Youths; PCRC; Stakeholders and Eminent person’s forum and other non-state actors within the frame work of community policing cannot be over-emphasized. “In this vein, the command will build upon the existing synergy with these groups to ensure collaborative success in the fight against miscreants in the state” he stressed. The to report all suspicious movement and persons to the Police, while he strongly promised the criminal elements that their days in criminal enterprise are numbered.