By Abdukadir Bin Abdulmalik
The arrest and recovery of arms and ammunition made across four LGAs of the state, namely, Kabba Bunu, Adavi, Okehi and Ofu LGAs, followed the state government's renewed efforts in strengthening its neighbourhood watch which comprises of the vigilantes and hunters.
In one of the success recorded in Kabba Bunu LGA, hunters deployed on Obajana Road with credible intelligence, raided a forest in Agbadu Area where they met bandits and engaged them in gun duel which resulted in the bandits retreating but dropped one fully loaded AK47 which was recovered.
Men of the Nigerian Army later came in to join forces with the hunters in trailing the bandits and one of them was apprehended.
Similarly, in Adavi and Okehi Local Government Areas, the efforts of the hunters paid off on Saturday when a 5-man gang of bandits that have been terrorizing the people were arrested at their Camp at Abobo behind Osara Dam.
The gang leader, Alwaza, confessed they operates with two Ak47 and three pump action rifles.
According to him, their operations were mainly on the highway of Irepeni, Osara, Eika and Itakpe Roads.
He is currently helping security agents to recover arms and ammunition which he said are buried in the forest.
Elsewhere in Ofu LGA in the East Senatorial district, a notorious armed robber terrorising Ugwolawo and its environs, one Uchabiojo Musa Uchabe was also apprehended.
The suspect who is an employee of a private organisation where he serves as a guard, is reported to have specialised in house breaking and highways robbery before he met his waterloo on July 17, 2020.
He confessed to have stolen several motor bikes in the LGA in conjunction with one Abukeke from Ikagbo in Ofu LGA.
Efforts are on to arrest his gang members.
Speaking on the development, the Kogi State Security Adviser, Retired Navy Commander Jerry Omodara said said the security agencies, hunters and vigilantes are working in synergy on the specific directive of the State Governor, Alh Yahaya Bello to keep Kogi State safe from criminal elements.
The Governor said the fight must be taken back to the criminals' dens and hideouts.
Governor Bello has consistently maintained that he will not negotiate with criminals in his quest to secure the state, saying he will use apparatus of the federal security agencies in addition to vigilantes and hunters for a well structured intelligence gathering to secure the state.
Not long ago, he challenged the various Special Adviser on Security of the Local Governments to ensure the vigilantes are mobilized to confront the bandits.
In that regard, the various Special Advisers on Security across the 21 LGAs of the state have also joined the fight against criminals having read the "body language of the Governor".
"Jointly, we are fighting a common purpose to rid the state of criminalities in whatever form they appear. In days ahead, we will have harvest of them and we will continue to keep Kogi State as the safest state in the North Central", Omodara said.