•Over 5,955 crime suspects arrested
By Akinola Ajibola
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, says no fewer than 5,955 suspects have been arrested by the Police since the beginning of 2019.
He listed those arrested to include suspected armed robbers, kidnappers, murderers, and cultists while over 800 kidnapped persons have been rescued within the period.
Professor Osinbajo made the disclosure on Monday, in Lagos, at a conference and retreat for strategic leadership officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
He said, “Locally in the past one year alone, the Nigeria Police has between January and this month (October) arrested over 2,348 armed robbery suspects, over 1,400 suspected kidnappers, 694 murder suspects, 1,513 cultists, and safely rescued over 826 kidnap victims, recovered 1,660 firearms and 1,612 vehicles stolen or used for crime are now in the safe custody of the Police Force.”
The vice-president commended the Police for their efforts at keeping Nigeria safe, saying the people were proud of the work they do.
He regretted that many of the personnel paid the supreme price in the course of duty, while fighting robbers, kidnappers, and other criminals.
Osinbajo was also sad that many have been maimed for life and their families have had to deal with their incapacity.
In spite of this, he was delighted that men and women of the police force go out at all times with exceptional bravery, often beyond the call of duty.
Osinbajo was, however, worried about the threats of terrorism in the North-East, in addition to the series of crimes he said have constituted significant drawbacks to the nation’s security.
He highlighted them to include banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, cybercrime, small and light arms proliferation and sundry transnational crimes.
“The dynamics of crime in the country has over time, become increasingly complex due largely to the impact of technology, global terrorism, socio-economic challenges, and other security situations, especially within the African continent.
“It was in response and in anticipation of these challenges that at the inception of this current administration, concerted efforts were made towards emplacing policies that would re-engineer the Nigeria Police and ensure the restoration of the agency’s primacy within the internal security architecture of the country,” said Osinbajo.
He stressed that funding, limited manpower profile, professional capacity gaps, and issues arising from the relationship between the police and the citizens were identified as challenges that needed to be addressed.
Professor Osinbajo believes the Nigeria Police force is without a doubt, one of Nigeria’s proudest assets.
According to him, it is the largest Police Force in Africa and has led police peacekeeping activities in several countries of the world such as Congo, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, and Afghanistan among others.
“We have some of the best-trained and best-educated men and women in any force anywhere in the world,” the vice-president said.
He added, “Our policemen and women have served everywhere locally and internationally with outstanding results and accolades.”