There is a popular saying that the more the hunters learn to shoot without aiming, the more the birds fly without perching. This could be the security situation in Rivers State.
On daily basis, crimes are committed in such manners that make the people look hapless. Reports have it that at least 10 kidnaps and armed robbery cases occur on weekly basis in Rivers State. But these are the reported cases a good lot, perhaps a greater number of such criminal activities are hardly reported because the victims’ families either have no confidence in the police or don’t just want to waste resources chasing what they think will not yield any positive result.
More worrisome is the fact that these criminals are between the ages of 20 and 30, who ordinarily are seen as leaders of tomorrow.
On Monday, November 16, 2015, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Hyelasinda Musa Kimo paraded 39 suspected criminals, at the command’s headquarters, Moscow Road. They were arrested for cases ranging from kidnapping, cultism, to armed robbery, etc in Aminigboko and Igwuruta in Abua/Odual and Ikwerre local government areas of the state.
Some of those arrested and paraded by the CP included; Kingsley Boy ‘m’ 24 years, Christopher Agolo ‘m’ 29 years, Budizhi Okpara ‘m’ 29 years, Goodness Okpara ‘m’ 23 years, Valentine ‘m’ 19 years, Wisdom Ogbani ‘m’ 23 years.
Others are; Best man Ikenga ‘m’. 30 years, Marshall Ikenga ‘m’ 33 years, Chukwudi Nwankwo ‘m’ 21 years, Uche Nwankwo ‘m’ 39 years, Lukcy Enyi ‘m’ 25 years, Temple Opurum ‘m’ 25 years and Joshua Opurum ‘m’ 36 years
According to the Police boss, who spoke through the Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, the arrest of the suspects have brought peace to their respective communities.
However, journalists were shocked when the PPRO showed them a pistol and bullets concealed in a loaf of bread. Those arrested alongside the exhibits were one Ability Loveday, a taxi driver, who hails from Akwa Ibom State and one Ezekiel Godwin, who by his ascent comes from the same state.
When interviewed, Ability Loveday and his counterpart, Ezekiel Godwin claimed innocence, saying the criminals ran away while police was searching the vehicle.
“I am the driver of this vehicle. I am a commercial driver. I picked this boy (Ezekiel Godwin) at the Lagos bus stop. So as we are going, I picked other three passengers at SPAR (Port Harcourt Mall), two boys one woman, the woman dropped at UTC Junction, then as we were going to park (Abali Park) the Police halted us and asked me to come down and to open the boot of the vehicle. I obeyed since I had nothing to fear. Subsequently, the Police asked me to produce driver’s licence and other particulars of the vehicle, which I promptly did. After satisfying themselves, they opened the two back doors and told those people to come down.
“Those people dropped the bag at the back of the seat and got up. When it was time to search them that was when those boys ran and the Police ran after them but did not catch them. They came back to me and ask me who those boys were and I explained that I don’t know them since they boarded my vehicle just like my other passengers did.
“They were obviously not interested in my explanation as they simply ordered me to follow them to the Police station. When we got to the station, they took me to DPO. It is there that I saw what was in the bag,” narrated the taxi driver.
If what the taxi driver, now criminal suspect said, is anything to go by, then the criminals who are now at large had really attempted to rob at the Port Harcourt Mall, which situates close to the Government House and must have failed in their plans because of the presence of security operatives in the building.
This is one among the many incidents of desperate criminals whose nefarious activities have practically made Port Harcourt a beehive of criminal acts. In most cases, these criminals go as long as using charms to kidnap and rob their victims, while others use iron rods and other clubs to break open their victims’ houses and cars to rob. There are even stories of armed robbers using grenades to blast heavily laddened concrete works to gain access into banks, highly secured homes and other facilities.
Again, in some incidents, acquaintances and family friends have been involved in kidnapping a victim. This was the case of Chief Ngeri Amachree, whose kidnap was arranged by a relative in conjunction with some criminals.
Chief Amachree, who said he was surprised to see that the boy he practically spoon-fed and work hard to assist sold him to kidnappers. He was grateful the officers of the command were able to come to his rescue, adding that he was delighted that the Police were still investigating the case and urged them to bring the culprits to justice.
He said: “On the 26th of March, where I was drinking along Okilo Road in Abuloma, with my friends, some gunmen came, about five of them and started shooting sporadically. I actually ran but one of them held me on my Jean.
“They carried me to one Camry and took me through Ozuboko Road to one waterside. With speed boat, they took me to unknown destination. I was blindfolded till the following day. It was after the presidential election that they released me and I paid a ransom of N1.5million.
“My family members made entry at Abuloma Police Station but I never knew the investigation was still on. It was three days ago that the commander of anti-cultism called me and asked if I was kidnapped and I said yes. He said one of the boys that kidnapped me is there with him.
“I came down and saw him, and he is somebody I know very well. Even two days to the day he was arrested, I even dashed him money on the road.”
For CP Kimo, the Police in Rivers State are ever battle-ready to fight crime and criminals to a standstill in the state. But one cannot help but express worry, especially as the yuletide sets in.
Most times, some unscrupulous elements in the Police prefer to task all commercial vehicles of the sum of one hundred naira or fifty naira as the case may be and in the process criminals escape Scot free.
While the feat recorded so far is commendable, CP Kimo must be strict in directing his men to be more vigilant during this yuletide season so that Rivers people can at least, sleep with their two eyes closed.

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