Abakaliki – The Ebonyi Command of the Nigeria Police on Tuesday launched operation ‘PUFF ADDER’ aimed at curbing communal crises in the state.
Mr Musa Kimo, an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of zone 6, Calabar, Cross River capital, inaugurated the operation at the police headquarters in Abakaliki.
He called on stakeholders in the state to join hands with the police to ensure the success of the operation.
Kimo noted that the support and cooperation of stakeholders from the various communities were needed for the success of the operation.
He said that the objective of the operation could only be successfully achieved by the cooperation of the community members and leaders.
“The stakeholders’ support becomes necessary because the operation, by the way it was designed, depends on the people in various communities to achieve its objective.
“Their cooperation will include giving adequate information that will lead to tracking suspected criminals in their hide-outs and arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of evil acts in the state.
“The timely volunteering of useful information on criminal activities in any part of the communities will enable the police to nip crime in the bud,” Kimo said.
The police boss, however, decried the recent killings in Ikwo Local Government Area by suspected hoodlums, under the cover of boundary dispute involving communities in Ikwo and Abakaliki LGAs.
He warned the two warring communities of Alike community in Ikwo and Enyibichiri community in Izzi clan of Abakaliki LGA to sheath their swords and end the wanton killings of innocent people.
The AIG assured that police would fish out perpetrators of the attacks and killers of innocent people in Ikwo .
He explained that operation ‘PUFF ADDER’ was a resonance of intelligence-driven policy and community intelligence strategy for the purpose of crime control, adding that the operation will help police to identify and arrest criminals in Ebonyi.
Earlier, Awoshola Awotunde, Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi, in his address, admonished Ebonyi communities to learn to live in peace and harmony.
Awotunde appealed to the communities to shun illegal piling of arms and ammunition and learn how to dialogue when issues arise in settling disputes instead of resorting to killing of one and another.
Mr Emma Mbam, a stakeholder from Alike-Ikwo blamed the intractable communal and boundary disputes on the non-nonchalant attitude by stakeholders of the affected communities.
Mbam urged stakeholders from the communities to avoid playing politics with the lives of the people and urged them to sit up and address the situation.
“We must rise above all sentiment, tell ourselves the truth and sit up to resolve the lingering dispute.
“The guns and other sophisticated weapons used in prosecuting the fratricidal wars were not bought by the miscreants who use them, rather the stakeholders buy the guns for them to go and kill,” he said.
Operation Puff Adder was recently launched in Abuja by Mustafa Mohammed, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to deal with insurgency and other criminal activities in the North-East. (NAN)