Victor Akinkuolie , Ado-Ekiti
Heavily armed soldiers and policemen as well as other security agencies have commenced “Operation Stop and Search” in Ado Ekiti and other towns in the state, following the killing of a policeman in the capital city by yet to be identified armed robbers.
It will be recalled that a policeman, Sgt Kamoru Momoh, attached to the Ant-Crime section of the Ekiti state command of the Nigeria Police was shot dead on Thursday along new Iyin-Ilawe road by these evil doers who had earlier robbed a filling station at Basiri area of Ado Ekiti around 8.13am on the fateful day.
The killing, according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Caleb Ikechukwu, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) could not be unconnected with the massive flushing operation carried out by a special task force under the acronym ‘Operation Make Ekiti Safe’, where many criminals had been killed with some apprehended and detained at the command for trial.
“This could be a reaction to the series of cleansing operations carried out by our special Joint Task Force in recent time. Those with criminal tendencies might want to go after our men in reaction to our actions, but we won’t be deterred”, he said.
Among other security operatives that participated in the operation includes, officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), Nigerian Immigration Service, Department of State Services(DSS), men of the National Drug Law Enforcement (NDLEA) as well as members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria among others.
Their operations were visible along Ado-Ilawe road, Ado-Iyin road, Ado-Ijan–Ikare road, Ado-Ikere-Akure road, Ado-Iwiroko-Ifaki road and the inner city like Ijigbo, Fajuyi, Okesa and Okeyinmi areas.
They stopped all motorists moving into Ado Ekiti metropolis and checked their identities while motorbike riders were made to disembark and pushed their machines for as long as 50 metres before being allowed to take off.
The Police spokesman, who reacted to the thoroughness of the special forces’ operations since Thursday, dismissed the insinuation that such could be as a result of the killing of the police sergeant.
Ikechukwu said: “Stop and search was part of the operations of the special task force . I think they have the constitutional power to carry out routine checks on people moving in and out to test their compliance to simple rules.
“Let me emphasize here that this special force stated its operations in Ekiti two months ago and since that time they have been carrying out their jobs in a civilized way, no harassment, no intimidation of any member of the public.
“As its name suggests, “Operation Keep Ekiti Safe”, it has to perform the task of making Ekiti peaceful and habitable for all and stop and search is one of those ways to ensure this. gain, if you observed critically, you would realize that they didn’t mount any roadblock that suggested that they were not out to suffer motorists or extort anybody. They are only carrying out their statutory routine checks”, he said.
He called on members of the public not to be disturbed or panic by the operations, saying the operatives are only after criminals and those with sinister motives of making Ekiti unsafe.
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