Operation Puff Adder of Nigeria Police Command in Kano State, Northwest Nigeria, has successfully arrested hundreds of crime suspects for various offences within and outside Kano metropolis in the last six weeks, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Habu Ahmad Sani, said.
The commissioner made the fact known at a press briefing in Kano on Wednesday at the Kano State Police Command headquarters in Bompai.
He said the command arrested 14 suspected bike thieves, seven suspected tricycle thieves, eight suspected kidnappers, 45 suspected armed robbers, 28 suspected cybercriminals, eight suspected drug pushers and 146 suspected vandals.
He said the police also rescued nine victims of confinement and recovered 10 rifles, two pistols, four locally made guns, three locally made pistols and 79 ammunition and cartridges.
Sani said the police also seized some quantity of Indian hemp weighing 549.8kg and valued N4.6 million as well as some abandoned, expired Coca Cola drinks and Sham Coldcap drinks which had no registration from the National Agency of Foods, Drugs Administration and Control.
“The police will continue to show more effort in curbing illegal businesses and criminal activities by individuals in the state,” Sani said.
He said that the suspects would face justice when investigations were completed in their cases.
Following the development, HumAngle interviewed some citizens on why social vices are prevalent in Kano State and other parts of Northern Nigeria.
Habib Ishaq, a resident of Tarauni Qauters, blamed terrorism and insecurity in the region on unemployment and bad governance.
Ishaq said the level of unemployment in the country at the moment was unprecedented and as a result, many youths were resorting to drug abuse to relieve stress.
He said in order to quench their appetite and lacking the means, such youth engaged in armed robbery, kidnapping and similar vices to make money.
“The trio of drug abuse, kidnapping and armed robbery are interwoven and closely related social vices that could be handled through the provision of adequate employment for the citizenry by all the three tiers of government,” he said.
He suggested the engagement of youth in the national security structure to deal with unemployment and insecurity.
“Insecurity is the bane of underdevelopment anywhere in the world because no nation has ever achieved any meaningful and sustainable development in an atmosphere of chaos, rancour and upheavals,” Ishaq stressed.
Abdulkarim Sani Muhammad said some unscrupulous elements indulged in crimes, such as kidnapping, for ransom, as a source of income.
Muhammad noted that some kidnapped their family members over misunderstandings, some targetted rich people within their community and others attacked travellers on the highway.
He added that some kidnappers killed their victims when their ransom demands were not met.
“When you have a government that fails to deliver its campaign promises what do you expect?
“For example, the government at the centre that we have now in Nigeria promised to change the lives of the masses but the change is still yet to come. Such kind of disappointments can lead some shallow-minded persons to go astray,” Muhammad said.
He added: “Some engage in drugs and thuggery due to the inability of their parents or guardians to look after them very well.
“Gone are days in the community whenever a child is misbehaving, elders in the community can deal with him/her, but now the story is different.
“We have careless parents that do not take responsibility for their children, they leave them to be roaming about anyhow.
“So, drugs dealing brings a lot of income more than many of the legal businesses we have in the world, so unpatriotic elements can engage in it.
“On the other hand, thuggery is being aided by our politicians. So even when they are caught, the politicians bail them out. Hence they keep committing similar or different offences.”
Muhammad said it was regrettable that youth were engaging in crimes with the aid of older persons, especially politicians, and warned that if care was not taken, the future would be dangerous and bleak.
However, Mu’azu Mu’azu, a public commentator, said crime related issues were common in Kano and other parts of the North and usually spontaneous.
“These crimes are prevalent or common due to lack of hope. Many people are living in illusion, coupled with bad governance and incessant demonstration of the culture of impunity by our political class.
“The contemporary desire for mutual gains lead to property crimes, such as burglaries and robbery. So also the desire for control, power or revenge lead to violent crimes such as assault, rape and murder.
“Some people commit crimes to increase gain and decrease life risk. Some consider a life of crime better than seeking for job or a regular job because it brings in greater reward, excitement or administration and so on,” Mu’azu said.
Abdullahi Sani, a resident of Kano, commended the police for their efforts towards curbing crime but stressed that more needed to be done to deal with the problem.
“Arresting the suspects is not enough. Any criminal caught should be arraigned in court to face their criminal charges.
“However, police need to improve their process of getting information by involving citizens to report any criminal offence they suspect happening in their environments,” Sani said.
Musab Najalo said arresting criminals was not enough because many returned to old habits after being released.
He suggested that the government should rehabilitate criminals through skills training to enable them to contribute to development.
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