The Joint Task Force of the Kogi State Vigilante Service and the Neighbourhood Watch has arrested no fewer than 28 suspected criminals in different locations across the state in the last seven days.
Among those arrested were four alleged kidnappers, who reportedly confessed to have been terrorising the residents of Dekina and Bassa local government areas in the eastern flank of the state.
Also, 16 suspected cult members from the Ankpa Local Government Area of the state were arrested in the Olamaboro Local Government Area, where they were allegedly initiating new members.
The suspected cultists were said to have also confessed to have carried out several robbery operations on the Ankpa-Okpo-Otukpa Road.
Similarly, an eight-man gang of miscreants, who were involved in destabilising the peace in the Anyigba and Egume areas of the Dekina Local Government Area of the state, were also apprehended by security agents when they led masqueraders into a mosque during the Islamic congregational prayers.
While handing over the suspects to the police at the Okpo Division, the leaders of the security groups and Chairman of the Vigilantes in Imane, Mr Usman Okoliko; and the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch, Mr Iliyasu Abubakar, said the activities of the suspects had gone beyond cultism as they were engaged in armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Dekina Local Government Area, Ishaq Shaibu, described the suspects as miscreants, who were bent on formenting trouble in the LGA.
He restated the commitment of Governor Yahaya Bello to eradicating all forms of criminality from the state, warning that whoever was found engaging in criminal activities would face the full wrath of the law.
Shaibu urged parents and guardians to report their children and wards, who were involved in criminal activities, saying, “The governor has said any parent, who comes forward in defence of any criminal, should be treated as one.”
He reiterated the resolve of the governor to make Kogi a safer and secure state.
Shaibu added that the suspects would be prosecuted according to the state’s criminal laws.