In a bid to preempt criminal elements in the state who may want to take advantage of the COVID-19 restriction order to raid communities like it happened in Lagos and Ogun recently, Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello has declared full blown war against kidnappers, bandits and armed robbers in the state.
Efforts by governor to sustain the war against criminals in the state paid off last weekend when no fewer than 28 criminals were arrested at different locations in the last seven days across the state.
The hoodlums were arrested by the Joint Task Force of the state Vigilante Service and the Neigbourhood Watch.
Among those arrested were four dreadful kidnappers who confessed to be terrorizing the people of Dekina and Bassa local government areas on April 6.
Also, over 16 members of a cult group who confessed to be from Ankpa local government area of the state were arrested in Olamaboro local government area where they were carrying out initiation of new members.
The cult group also confessed to have carried out several armed robbery operations on Ankpa-Okpo-Otukpa road.
Similarly, an 8-man gang of miscreants who were involved in destabilizing the peace around Anyigba and Egume areas of Dekina local government area of the state were also apprehended by the security agencies when they led masquerades into the mosque during Islamic congregational prayers in order to spark up religious crisis.
While handing over the suspected criminals to the Police at Okpo Division, the leaders of the security groups, Mr Usman Okoliko, the chairman of Vigilante in Imane, and Mr Iliyasu Abubakar, chairman of the Neigbourhood Watch, in their separate remarks, said that the activities of the group had gone beyond cultism as they were engaged in armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the areas.
Speaking, the senior special assistant to the governor, Dekina local government area, Hon Ishaq Shaibu, described the suspected criminals as miscreants who were bent on creating trouble in the local government area.
He restated the commitment of Governor Bello to eradicating all forms of criminals from the state, warning that whoever is found in any criminal activity would face the full wrath of the law.
Shaibu urged parents and guardians to report their wards who they knew are into any form of criminal activities, saying ''the governor has said any parent who come forward in defence of any criminal should be treated as one''.
He further reiterated the resolved and the unwavering determination of the governor to make Kogi a more safer and secured state.
He said that the arrested criminals will be charged to court for prosecution according to the criminal laws.