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Police investigate discovery of arms cache in Rivers

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (left); the Commissioner of Police, Mustaph Dandaura (second left); and other security agents during the display of weapons recovered from hoodlums by Operation Sting at Ogu/Bolo Council of the state…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

The police in Rivers State are investigating the motive for the stockpiling of Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) launcher, General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and other lethal weapons in a forest in Ogu-Bolo Council of the state.

Delighted by the discovery of the arms cache, Governor Nyesom Wike has vowed that the fight against COVID-19 would not distract him and the security agencies from ridding the state of criminals.

The Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, while briefing the governor at Brick House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, said arms were discovered following a tip-off over the weekend.

Dandaura, who was accompanied by other service commanders in the state, explained that one suspect arrested by the police led security operatives to the forest in Ogu-Bolo where the arms were buried underground.

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According to him, after painstakingly digging the forest in Ogu-Bolo, the police and other security operatives attached to the Operation Sting joint security outfit discovered the lethal weapons, including AK-47 rifles, live ammunition and explosive devices.

The police boss explained that investigation into the motive for stockpiling the arms had begun, dismissing the probability of the stockpilers being kidnappers.

A kidnapper does not need rocket launcher or sub machine gun to engage in his nefarious act, he argued.

Dandaura further stated that shortly after the weapons were exhumed and the security men prepared to leave the forest, the suspect attempted to escape and was shot fatally.

The police boss said the support received from the governor in terms of logistics was responsible for the dislodgement of armed criminals who had, for months, terrorised motorists and commuters along the East-West road.

The once notorious Owerri/Port Harcourt highway, he said, has been rid of kidnappers.

Wike said it was heart-rending that while the state government and security agents were engaging in the fight against COVID-19, some criminals were piling up arms in a forest with the intent to breach security and make Rivers unsafe.

The governor declared his commitment to purge the state of all criminal elements.

He said that he had directed the army to hunt down a notorious criminal terrorising residents of Ikwerre Council of the state.

The government has, through credible intelligence sources, uncovered that some criminals who operate in the state live in neighbouring states, he disclosed.

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