The high rate of criminal activities in the country has been blamed on the consequences of the nationwide #EndSARS protest.
Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, Ari Muhammed Ali, apportioned the blame on Tuesday in Asaba while interacting with members of the Indigenous Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State, who paid him a courtesy visit.
The CP noted that the protest, which started peacefully with a genuine intention, was later hijacked by hoodlums, including internet fraudstars, kidnappers, cultists and armed robbers, who took advantage of it to inflict pains on Nigerians.
Ari Mohammed Ali said the security agencies, particularly the police, were the worst hit, pointing out that many police personnel were killed, police formations and vehicles vandalized, just as arms and amunitions were carted away by the criminals.
He stated that such arms were still in the hands of hoodlums who used them to perpetrate crimes, thereby worsening the security situation in the country.
The CP said as humans police personnel were disillusioned and their morale dampened due to the losses the Police Force suffered, forcing them to withdraw their presence in public places for fear of being attacked.
Ari Mohammed Ali, however, explained that the narrative was gradually changing for good and personnel being encouraged to return to work to improve the security situation in the country.
On the situation in Delta, the Police boss said cultism and kidnapping were the most prevalent crimes in the state, but assured that the State Police Command was squarely addressing the challenge.
He solicited the cooperation of members of the public in crime fighting, saying that information and intelligence gathering, which should come from the public, were key to effective policing.
Earlier, the Chairman, Indigenous Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ, Comrade Andy Emephia, said the visit was to seek closer working relationship with the police and assured the CP of adequate coverage of the Command’s activities by members of the chapel.