Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has warned criminals terrorising the state that their days are numbered.
Soludo asked them to leave the state now, adding that there will be no hiding place for them again because security operatives have been enabled to smoke them out wherever they are in the state.
Soludo stated this on Saturday following the raid and demolition of the hideout of suspected kidnappers in Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.
The governor said henceforth any house or property found to be used to commit the crime of kidnapping would be demolished.
The governor said it had been established that the demolished building was being used as a den for criminal activities, stressing that his government would not allow criminality to reign in the state.
Some armed hoodlums now dubbed ‘Unknown gunmen’ have been terrorising the South-East region including Anambra. The Nigerian government has accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being behind the criminal activities but the separatist group, led by Nnamdi Kanu, has denied having any links with the armed group or their activities.
Soludo, however, said his government was fully determined to ensure security for everyone in the state and free movement of people, without any fear of molestation or violence.
He commended the people of the state for volunteering information to security agencies, adding that every stranger is suspicious until their job is confirmed to be legitimate.
He re-emphasised that any building being used for any criminal activities would be demolished and the land confiscated by the government.
He appealed to residents to be security conscious at all times, stressing that they should always report strangers and criminals operating in their communities to security agencies
In a statement by the press secretary to the governor, Christian Aburime on Saturday, Soludo said Anambra State Joint Security Task Force conducted the demolition of a house (old bungalow) harbouring criminals in Oba.
He said the exercise lasted more than five hours at the hideout of the notorious kidnappers.
The statement reads: “The hideout has earlier been raided recently, where exhibits such as locally made pistol, shrine, charms, concoctions, Indian hemp, among other incriminating materials were recovered at the building with some arrests also made.
“However, it will be recalled that a gang of kidnappers were traced to the hideout by the police, following an attack and subsequent kidnap of two persons at Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area, and another two persons in Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area.
“The gunmen had entered Oko through Nanka for a kidnap operation and were on the verge of succeeding before the prompt intervention of the police special force acting on a tip-off and subsequently engaged them in gunfire.
“One of them was killed, but others escaped with various degrees of injury. The gunman killed at Oko, whose video went viral on some social handles, was identified as a former vigilante who was part of a four-man gang who have been involved in high-profile killings and kidnapping within that vicinity
“The state police command spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga had explained that the command received a distress call about the kidnap of two persons at Oko, and while on their trail, they learnt that the gang had kidnapped two more persons at Ekwulobia, and quickly pursued them and were able to track them down.”