FromA�Angela Nkwo-Akpolu, OwerriA�
Imo State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike yesterday displayed a total of 2,615 guns, and firearms recovered through voluntary submission and arrests.
This is even as he alerted residents to be vigilant as criminals now waylay late returnees from work by the gate, saying it is a new tactic of robbery.
Ezike made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at the command’s headquarters in Owerri.
The Police boss said 168 guns; 99 cartridges; 2,323 ammunitions; 25 empty magazines were recovered consisting of 19 English pistols; 19 locally made pistols and 36 guns; 9 AK 47 rifles; and 2 AR 70 rifles.
Others are 28 pump action; 3 Madison rifles; 11 double barrel guns; 99 cartridges; 2,323 ammunitions; and 25 empty magazines.A�A�
According to him, the benefits of the mop up exercise has automatically led to “a reduction in the number of light and small but dangerous weapons within the Imo polity; a reduction in crime of various dimensions like kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism/cult related violence and brigandage”.
CP Ezike stated that firearms are facilitators of violence noting that the arms mop up will boost restoration of peace in all the communities, and make it safe and secured.
He reminded that the time for voluntary submission of arms has been extended to allow more people to submit them, even as he noted that the Police uses persuasion and mediation to make people submit their firearms.
The Police boss stated that persons arrested in connection with arms recoveries that were not voluntarily made, are facing different charges in the courts.A�
Meanwhile, Ezike has appealed to Imo residents to be extra vigilant when going home, because hoodlums hang around people’s homes, waiting for them to open the gate, wherein they gain access to rob.
“I advise late returnees to watch the corners of their house before alighting from the car or honking their horns for the gate to be opened for them. Miscreants now use it as a new device to gain access and hold people to ransom right in their homes,” Ezike warned.
Further, he said, “let me call on our people to be their own police first. Please be vigilant and don’t ignore any situation. You will be helping yourself and the larger society”, the Police boss stated.