The Delta state government has set up a combined military task force to rid the state of kidnappers in the wake of the recent abduction of 15 children in Abia state.
The state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan while inaugurating the team in Warri, warned hoodlums to turn a new leaf or face the wrath of the law.
The governor affirmed the that action was in response to the recent kidnap of 15 children in Abia State by criminals, stressing, "The way Nigeria is, once something happens elsewhere people tend to copy it in other places."
He directed the military to comb the nooks and crannies of the state for known kidnappers and suspects to ensure that there was no similar incidence in the state.
He also appealed to Deltans to give the team the needed support to make the state a safe haven for all as he revealed that 80 persons are currently facing trial for kidnapping in the state.
He said, "This is a state that has zero tolerance to kidnapping. We have done it before and we can do it again. We achieved near zero tolerance but right now it is like some persons outside the state who are into kidnapping have sneaked into the state and we are determined to fish them out, whether from this state or outside the state."
He urged Nigerians to rise up to condemn the Abia State incident, stressing that Nigerians must take steps to prevent its reoccurrence anywhere in the country, adding, "We don�t want such thing to occur in Delta State."
Although Governor Uduaghan would not disclose the number of personal involved in the operation, he said they are enough to ensure that no kidnap occurred in the state, even as he appealed to communities and members of the public to give the force the needed support to succeed.
He clarified that the operation was aimed at making the state safe for all, adding, "right now people are afraid of entering public transports, before they board a taxi they look at the face and once they see three men they would be afraid and may not take that cab."
Uduaghan differed with those calling for the adoption of capital punishment to deter kidnapping, stressing that apart from failing in stopping armed robbers, capital punishment has not also prevented kidnapping in states that have adopted the sternest sentence.
Meanwhile, the governor revealed that 80 persons are currently facing trials for kidnapping in the state, adding, "death penalty has not stopped any crime in the war, even in the days of public execution of armed robbers, you still see people robbing while it is going on."
In his reaction, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Alkali, who spoke on behalf of the Commander Sector 1 of the Joint Task Force, Colonel Jarmil Sarham, and other head of security agencies, including the State Security Service, Nigerian Navy and others, commended Uduaghan for taking the bold step.
He said, "We must commend you (Governor) for the courage, for your zero-tolerance to criminality in this state and we want to assure you that this synergy which has always been here will continue to be here and we will give you the desired result. It is our responsibility to Nigerians, based on our constitutional calling, to give our environment a conducive atmosphere to the people for the purpose of earning their livelihood."