Military Authority today said no fewer twenty 20 notorious criminals have been arrested in Kogi State.
This he said included one Mr. Eleme Salihu, a notorious kidnap kingpin at Itobe in Ofu LGA of the State.
Addressing Journalists in Lokoja, at the Command Army Records, Chari Maigumeri Barrack Lokoja, the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier John Agim noted that the clearance operation has significantly achieved the set objectives for which Operation 777 was set up.
According to him, the Nigerian Army also foiled several kidnapping attempts and had intensified continuous confidence building through patrols, a show of force, blocking operations, as well as cordon and search.
The Army also reiterated its commitment to protecting lives and property of the citizenry, stressing that the launched of Operation 777 in Kogi State has reduced the incidence of kidnappings, armed robberies and other violent crimes in the State.
The Defence spokesman noted that the military in its response to the rising waves of violent crimes ravaging the State had in October 2018 inaugurated a clearance operation code-named ( JOA 777) to deal with the threats of insecurity.
He said the operation has reduced to the barest minimum crimes and criminality across the State.
He added that the launch of the Operation became imperative because of the strategic location of the State which share borders with nine other States and the FCT making it susceptible to criminals from the adjoining States.
The Army boss said asides State’s strategic location, it houses the Geregu power plants, Dangote Cement Company and two major bridges across Niger at Jamaica and Itobe.
He noted that his men are at red alert to protect these critical national Assets as well as providing security for high profile persons plying the State.
He said his men were able to arrest one notorious kidnapping kingpin even as a cache of arms and ammunition were recovered from the criminals across the State.
According to him. “with the timely intervention of the members of the operations, two expatriates working with a construction company in Okene who was recently abducted were promptly rescued.
He advised citizenry to respect security measures put in place by the Security Agencies to avoid falling into the hands of the criminals.
Agim lamented that prior to the formation of the clearance operation in the State, Kogi had suffered a serious loss of lives and destruction of property by the hoodlums.
He, however, assured the public that the situation has been brought under control, noting that three battalions and three brigades were established, one for the Central, East and West Senatorial zones of the State to coordinate eight operational sectors within the ambit of the operation 777.
He noted that the arrangement has made the operation more mobile to respond swiftly to nib the activities of the hoodlums.