By Nwafor Okafor
Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, weekend, warned criminals terrorising the state under the codename -unknown gunmen- that they will have no place to hide again as security operatives have been enabled to smoke them out wherever they are in the state.
Soludo stated this following the raid and demolition of kidnappers’ hideout in Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state on Friday.
The governor said it had been established that the demolished building was being used as a den for criminal activities, stressing that the government policy did 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 to hide, assuring that his government was fully determined to ensure that the state would be safe for everyone, and that people would move freely around without fear or molestation
He applauded the cooperation by some people in the state who had been volunteering information, adding that every stranger would be suspicious until his or her job was confirmed to be legitimate.
He re-emphasised that any building being used for any criminal activities would be brought down and confiscated by government.
He appealed to residents to be security conscious at all times, stressing that they should always report strangers and criminals operating in their communities to security agencies
In a statement by the press secretary to the governor, Christian Aburime on Saturday, Soludo said Anambra State Joint Security Task Force conducted the demolition of the house (old bungalow) harbouring the criminals in Oba which lasted for more than five hours at the hideout of the notorious kidnappers.
The statement reads: “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 kidnapp 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.”