By Uthman Yawa-Siraja

IGP Idris Ibrahim

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris Kpotu

When the present Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris Kpotu assumed office two years ago, he promised Nigerians that he will ensure effective policing of the country with every professionalism required to stand the taste of time. however, he said it is only achievable with the unflinching support and the needed cooperation of all the citizens of the country.

To him, effective policing requires the collective support of all Nigerians, through the provision of useful and vital information that will assist the Police to effectively perform its duty of policing the entire country.

It was against this background that he aggressively took it upon himself to set up various operational units in the force under his leadership, to make life very unbearable for criminals in the society.

Among such units is the dreaded “Special Tactical Squad,” (STS) headed by a no nonsense combatant Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kolo Yusuf.

The lawyer by profession, and a police officer per excellent, is heading a unit among other units in the force that had carried out activities with a touch of professionalism throughout the period of its operations.

When this squad was launched by the IGP some four months back,  everybody was proud with the way their operational activities are being carried out.

The presence of the squad under ACP Kolo is already being felt in the dare devil Kaduna–Abuja-Rijani roads. Within the short period it has swung into action, criminal elements, particularly the kidnappers that were hitherto having field days, making life very unbearable for motorists and travellers in the mass forests by the road side,  were being steadily smoked out from their hideouts.

STS takes battle  to den of criminals

Kolo’s team had refused to be deterred taking the battle directly to their den in the forests, clamping on them and chasing them out.

In this way, among others, operational activities of the Kolo-led STS, recorded a lot of successes which is giving the inhabitants of these communities, motorists and travellers a sigh of relief.

When these forests became hell for them, the criminals relocated to Niger State, thinking that they will have a safe haven and they got it all wrong, as the men of STS followed them and launched a total onslaught on them.

The total onslaught against them in Niger State, within the last four weeks, had yielded fruitful results to the admiration of Nigerlites.

So far, the presence of ACP Kolo-led STS squad is presently being felt in some black spots in the state where the activities of these men of the underworld are prominent.

Black spots in Niger

These black spots included, places in Agaie, Lapai, Gurara, Sarkin Pawa, Lambata and Paiko, among other dangerous black spots.

Within four weeks, in Niger State, the unit had tremendously made successful breakthrough in making the forests and the hideouts within these areas very unbearable for these hoodlums.

The breakthrough was made possible through the information provided to the team by the stakeholders within these communities.

According to ACP Kolo Yusuf, the success recorded by his team was as a result of synergy already established with the people of the communities and their traditional leaders.

He explained to Newsline on Sunday that when he assumed duty in Niger State barely three weeks now, “I invited Fulani community leaders, traditional leaders and Miyyeti Allah leaders within the areas concerned for a meeting aimed at soliciting for their cooperation by providing useful information on the activities of these hoodlums who are staying in their midst, as they know them more than any outsider. Some of them are their children, and as a people who have been their parent, soliciting for their support for useful information on the activities of these hoodlums will assist us in many ways and this had helped us in taking the battle to their door step,” he told Newsline. “We are succeeding in this fight with them. We will continue to give them a hot chase until we make sure they are totally smoked out of Niger State. We will not relent in our determination to make Niger State crime-free for our people,” he stressed.

Special Tactical Squad (STS) and other squads were established by the IGP Ibrahim Idris Kpotu to ensure that the country is crime free, stressing that the squad under his leadership and others across the country, are determined to live up to the expectations of the Inspector General of Police, (IGP).

The ACP explained that the STS and other outfits are directly under the supervision of the IGP, which explained why they cannot compromise their integrity and professionalism, as men and officers of the team.

This, he noted, is enough to move him and his operatives to go all out and to any length to ensure that the responsibility assigned to him by the IGP and his management team is carried out to its logical conclusion.

The crime buster told Newsline on Sunday that it is a thing of joy to him when citizens appreciate the good work he is doing which has always gingers him to do more.

125 various criminally minded elements flushed out

The STS under ACP Kolo, operational activities has so far smoked out over 125 various criminally minded elements and prominent among such criminals include, notorious cattle rustlers, kidnappers, armed robbery suspects and ritualists, among other dare devil criminals that had hitherto made residents of these areas in Niger State uncomfortable.

As daring as the ACP is, he had always made it a duty to crisscross the length and breadth of some of these forests and rocky communities where these criminals camp their tents in the state with their arsenals to engage these hoodlums in a fight to finish.

The operational activities of the teams, according to him, are usually carried out in the wee hours of the night.

“While others are comfortably sleeping in the night, myself and my teams are out in the bush to chase these criminals out of Niger State.”

He maintained that as a trained police officer, one’s duty is to ensure the protection of lives and property, as well as enforce the law, and that anything short of that, “you don’t have any reason to call yourself or see yourself as a trained police man.”

His posting to Niger State on this special assignment by the IGP, according to him, is a rare privilege and a challenge that he must do everything professionally possible to add value to his police duty by making sure that Nigerlites and other Nigerians living in the state will have no reason to regret their stay in Niger State.

He noted that the IGP has confidence in him and his team, and that he will go all out to justify that confidence reposed on him.

So far, he said, the team had succeeded in checking all the black spots where the operational activities of these criminals are visible within the state.

In one of the operations carried out by the team in Lambata-Gawu axis, over 425 cattle were recovered with the arrest of 12 rustlers, in addition to receiving dangerous weapons such as AK 47, locally made pistols, cutlasses, ammunition, and other dangerous weapons from them.

He stated that in this way, his team has been able to curtail their activities to the barest level in the state.

Support from Niger State Government

Speaking on the support from the government, ACP Kolo told Newsline on Sunday that, the Niger State governor has always appreciated their performance and this explained why he provided them with accommodation, fuel their operational vehicles, and has been feeding his men, in addition to other supports. He said this has boosted their performance in the discharge of their duty in the state.

“Indeed, when you talk of support from the state government, it will interest you to know that the governor himself is happy with our operational activities in the state.

“He personally paid visit to see most of the suspects we have arrested and asked them questions. It will interest you also to know that the governor provided accommodation, fuel for all vehicles and other support to enable us carry out operations effectively,” he explained. 

The crime buster who hailed from Edati Local Government Area of Niger State told Newsline on Sunday that STS, as an arm of the intelligence and tactical squad of the police force, and has always followed every detail of the information received from members of the public on the activities of these criminals to its logical end, adding that such information had in many ways assisted in nipping most of the crimes in the bud.  

We’ll flush them out before we leave

He insisted that he and his team would not leave Niger State until the total war against these hoodlums is brought to its logical conclusion.

“We will not leave Niger State until these people were flushed out of every nook and cranny of the state. And we are on top of the war against them, as very soon, they will not find any hiding place in the state.

“They no longer have breathing space anywhere in the state, we have vowed to make the state a hell for them” he declared.