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Police begin bush clearing to curb kidnapping in Edo


[FILES] Edo state

The Edo State police command has commenced the clearing and bulldozing of sections of the forest along the Benin-Lagos highway with a view to curbing incessant kidnappings on the road.

About five bulldozers were on site on Wednesday clearing the forest. The forest is to be cleared 50 metres inside between Ovia River and Okada junction. Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the 4th Brigade Nigerian Army joined in the operation.

The purpose, according to the Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Abubakar, is to take the battle to the kidnappers’ den in the forest. The police boss, and Edo Commander of the NSCDC, Ayela Makinde, took a walk through the route suspected to be used by kidnappers.

Some live ammunition and expended ammunition were recovered under a shade closed to the highway believed to be the hiding spot of the kidnappers. Some wrappers of suspected victims were recovered.

Abubakar assured the contractors that adequate security would be provided during the period of clearing the bushes. He said the height of the grasses provided an easy cover for the kidnappers to hide.

“You can see that from these spots they can see our men but we cannot see them. This road must be kept safe and we will not allow kidnappers to remain. The battle line has been drawn. We want to be seeing the kidnappers.

“We are experiencing a pocket of attacks along this road. This spot is one of the black spots. After our meeting with Governor Obaseki, we discussed that the hoodlums were taking advantage of the forest.

“We requested for bulldozers to clear the forest at least 50 metres inside. We are sure that by the time we finished the clearing, they will meet their waterloo.

“They operate guerilla style. We have foiled their operations severely. That is why we have a huge traffic flow on this road. We do not want what is happening elsewhere to happen here. This road is very strategic. It is gateway to the South-South and South East. We are always on this road to give the public confidence.

“We have made a lot of arrests and recovered arms. We have charged many to court and others are under investigation.”

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