No fewer than 3,249 arms including ammunition and cartridges have been recovered by the Rivers Police Command at a criminal hideout in a forest at Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Mustapha Dandaura, made this known on Monday in Port Harcourt when he presented the recovered arms before journalists, Gov. Nyesom Wike and Service Commanders.
Dandaura, who led the governor and service commanders on inspection of the recovered arms, said Wike’s administration provided logistics that energised the state’s security outfit, Operation Sting, to achieve notable successes.
He said that the Operation Sting, initiated by Wike, had sanitised the hitherto troublesome East West Road, the Elele-Owerri Road and the Ogoni axis of the East West Road.
Dandaura, who said that Operation Sting had been making the state safer for residents and visitors, assured that the security agencies would continue to work hard to protect lives and property in Rivers.
According to him, the state Police command recovered the arms from a kidnap syndicate in Ogu/Bolo local government area, following credible intelligence.
The commissioner of police also disclosed that the syndicate hid the arms underground in the forest.
Dandaura listed the recovered items as: one GPMG No. NN-07-150, two G-3 rifles with breech Nos. 81- 85234 and 69090978, and one SMG rifle No. 19855
Other arms recovered are one rocket launcher (RPG) rocket propelled grenade NW-07-150; five (5) Pump Action guns; 933 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition; 111 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition; and 222 rounds of 9mm live ammunition.
Others are 909 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition; 74 rounds of .9mm live ammunition; 728 live cartridges; four (4) AK 47 magazines; two (2) G-3 magazines; and one (1) SMG magazine.
He said that the total number of Ammunition/Cartridges were 3,249.
Wike assured that his administration would continue to work towards keeping Rivers safe in line with his constitutional responsibility of protecting everyone living in the state.
He said that the recent achievements of Operation Sting as presented by Dandaura were commendable.
The governor commended security agencies in the state for working with the State Government to check the activities of criminals.
He said: “I have made a vow that Rivers State must be safe. It is a duty that we are committed to carry out. We have no excuses to give.”
Wike said that as the state government fought to protect the people of Rivers from Coronavirus, it would not relent in ensuring the security of lives and property.
He urged the media to also focus on the successes of the State Security Council in the area of securing lives in the state, adding that bursting the kidnap syndicate remained a major achievement by Operation Sting.
He said: “Coronavirus is a serious war. Then add this to the fight against insecurity and you understand that it is not easy for us. But we shall continue to work for the security and safety of our people.
“We don’t want anyone to politicise the issue of security. We also don’t want anyone to politicise the fight against Coronavirus,’’ he said.
According to him, weapons recovered by the police during their operation can dislodge Port Harcourt City.
He also wondered what the criminals were doing with submachine guns and rocket grenade launchers.
Wike said that operatives of Operation Sting were on the heels of a notorious Isiokpo kidnapper, who will soon be apprehended and prosecuted.
“We give God the glory for keeping us safe in Rivers State even as we battle this Coronavirus pandemic.
“Rivers State Government is working to keep our people safe, yet some criminals want to make the State insecure,’’ he said. (NAN)