The Police in Anambra State on Friday said there is nothing like unknown gunmen as is being peddled in some sections of the media.
According to the Police, the persons who masquerade under the guise of unknown gunmen are known criminals, most of whom have been caught or neutralized by operatives of the state command.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra State, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Awka.
Ikenga, who noted that due to the intensified policing strategies of the State Police Command, many criminals have been nabbed, said there is no hiding place for the criminals.
“It is wrong for anyone to tag these hoodlums as unknown gunmen. They are criminals who are known. Some of them have been killed while many are facing prosecution presently.
“It is also important that the listening public understands that these people are criminals and whenever they are in your neighborhood, they are a threat to you.
“When they say they are unknown gunmen, you must know that it is not true. They are only criminals hiding under the guise of whatever, to perpetrate crime and we are ready to fish them out,” he said.
Ikenga noted that the police have also launched the Police Campaign against Cultism and Other Vices, POCACOV initiative, to sensitize the youths on the dangers of cultism and other vices.
According to him, the initiative has yielded a lot of positive results where some young people have come out to denounce the cult group they hitherto belonged to.
“We have also taken the advocacy to many tertiary institutions to educate young people on the dangers of belonging to a cult group.
“We have also deployed the name and shame strategy whereby we have shown people the end result of being a cultist and so far, we have people coming to say they do not want again,” he said.
On the upcoming general elections, the Anambra State Police spokesperson said the command is working out a plan to ensure that the 2023 General Elections happens with little or no glitch at all.
He said the command is also working with other sister agencies to guarantee smooth elections later this month.
Ikenga said the task of ensuring a smooth and credible elections is a collective responsibility, adding that what the Police cannot do, the people owe it as a responsibility, to support the security agencies fish out those causing mayhem in the state.
“There is no gainsaying that the police alone cannot be everywhere. The people are the one who know the terrains and can help give credible information to the Police to ensure that criminals are nabbed.
“The vigilante group are also critical partners in the Policing initiatives and we encourage them to also understand that there is a limit to their powers and as such, refrain from what can taint the image of the group.
“Conducting investigations is not their responsibility and we urge them to promptly hand over suspects to the police for thorough investigation,” Ikenga insisted.