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DSS alleges plot to incite religious crisis in Nigeria

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• Police arrest 21,296 hardened criminals nationwide
The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday, alerted Nigerians to plans by some unpatriotic ‘elements’ and their foreign backers to incite religious violence in the country.

The secret police listed the targeted states to include Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Oyo, Lagos and some in the South East.

In a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya, the organisation said part of the arrangements was to cause inter-religious conflicts and use their (sponsors) foot soldiers to attack some worship centres, religious leaders, personalities, as well as key and vulnerable points.

“Consequently, Nigerians are advised to be wary of these antics and shun all divisive tendencies aimed at inciting or setting them against one another.

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“While the service pledged to collaborate with sister agencies to ensure that public order is maintained, those hatching these plots are warned to desist from such in the interest of peace, security and development of the country,” it added.

MEANWHILE, the police have said 21, 296 ‘highly dangerous criminals’ were arrested in 2020 by the Special Tactical Squad (STS) and the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the force.

Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, disclosed this to reporters, while parading 18 suspects for various offences in Abuja, yesterday.

He said the suspects were arrested, investigated and empirically linked with offences like homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism and unlawful possession of firearms.

Mba added that a total of 3,347 weapons, mostly AK-47 and AK-49, was recovered besides the 133, 496 rounds of live ammunition confiscated within the period.

The CP noted that 960 stolen vehicles were rescued, with most of them already in possession of owners.

He added that 1, 002 captives were rescued and reunited with their families during the period.

Mba said within the first two weeks of this year, 18 ‘hardened’ suspects were arrested by STS and IRT operatives, adding that eight AK-47 rifles and one submachine gun were recovered from them.

Also, 236 AK-47 ammunition, eight AK-47 magazines and other incriminating items were recovered from them, the police spokesman said.

He expressed the commitment of the force to provision of adequate security for life and property nationwide.

“We will adopt an aggressive intelligence-driven and community-based crime fighting approach. We will be proactive and take battle to doorsteps of criminals,” Mba vowed.

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