The intense crackdown of criminals in Anambra State entered a new phase at the weekend when Governor Willie Obiano announced his readiness to deploy drones and a handful of other hi-tech surveillance equipment to smoke out criminals in the state from their hiding places for immediate arrest and prosecution.
The governor, who spoke at the final test-running of the drones at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia before their deployment to trouble spots across the state, also declared the resolve of his administration to sustain the campaign against kidnappers, armed robbers and other organised crimes in the state until they were either driven out or clamped in jail.
According to him, his decision to use hi-tech devices to track down criminals in the state marked the commencement of the second phase of the ongoing campaign, which relied on sophisticated intelligence gathering and clinical insolation of the flash points of crime to ensure a comprehensive cleansing of the state of all criminals.
The governor, who felt greatly buoyed by the overwhelming support he received from the natives of the state resident in Abuja and the surrounding areas, who collectively pooled about N100 million to support his crime-fighting campaign, vowed to sustain the pressure on criminal elements in the state until they had been reduced to proportions that could be policed.
He maintained that with the financial donations and goodwill he had received from Ndi Anambra, he would re-invigorate Operation Kpochapu with a new technological edge that would boost its capacity to detect and prevent crime in the state.
“We are moving into the next phase of our campaign against criminals in Anambra State. Our efforts shall be more intensely focused on crime detection and prevention. That is the reason we are deploying hi-tech surveillance equipment to spy on the activities of crime suspects and forestall possibilities of violent crime,” Obiano explained, pointing out that the new phase required a lot of creativity.
“Modern crime-fighting requires a lot of creativity. Criminals are extremely inventive and we have to be a step ahead of them to outsmart them. We are relying heavily on technology to give us their coordinates and the general direction of their plans,” he explained, recalling that the recent rescue of a kidnap victim, who was tracked all the way to Orlu in Imo State, was a clear demonstration of the efficacy of technology in crime fighting.
Said he: “As soon as we got wind of the kidnap, we moved in and activated the devices. We monitored their movement to their hideout in Orlu, Imo State and waited until all the suspects were fully in before we picked them up.”
Since he came into office in March this year, Governor Obiano had singled out the challenge of insecurity as a major focus of his administration and evolved a number of highly effective strategies that had put criminals on the run in Anambra State.
One of the most visible aspects of his strategy was the erection of security tents that were stuffed with sandbags in all existing and potential dark spots in the state, manned by combat-ready armed security operatives.
In addition to serving as a deterrent, the presence of the trained and pointedly unobtrusive security personnel in strategic areas made it easy for a swift co-ordination of counter-strikes that took brigands unawares.
The swift and coordinated reaction that led to the arrest of Okechukwu Nnaegbo, a kidnap kingpin, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in a South African-bound aircraft remains one of the high points of Obiano’s campaign to cleanse the state of criminal elements and restore confidence in the people.