Twenty-two suspected criminals made up of 17 cultists, armed robbers and police killer were on Monday paraded by the Bayelsa state police command at the state police headquarters in Yenagoa.
Also paraded were those involved in the killing and murder of the 16-year-old student of the Niger Delta University, Seifeya Fred and the killing of a police corporal, Sammy Saturday, last month.
The state commissioner of police, Mr. Joseph Mutan, said the suspects were apprehended with the assistance of the state vigilante service and other stakeholders in Bayelsa state.
The police commissioner, who resumed office few weeks ago, said he observed that most of the prevalent crimes in the state like armed robbery and rape are all related to cultism, calling for the cooperation of Bayelsans to help curb the menace.
He said the command, as a counter security measure, will no longer wait for the criminals to come out and perpetuate their nefarious activities, but will intensify their operations on their hide outs.
He said: “As a counter security measure, we will intensify our operations on hide-out of armed robbers and cultists. We will continue to carry out targeted raids on criminal hideouts and conduct stop and search operations.
“On the 16th of November, at about 5am, with the assistance of the Bayelsa state vigilante service, one John Daumunabo, 20year old of Ebi Mechanic, Amarata, was arrested with locally made revolver pistol.
The suspect led the police to arrest one Ayibakepreye Idionyo, a 30-year-old man, who allegedly supplied the local pistol.
“On the 21st of October, the command clearance squad arrested one Funkeye John, a 24-years-old male, in connection with armed robbery and murder of Corporal Sammy Saturday, of the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Yenagoa, at Tombia roundabout.
“The suspect led the police to arrest their gang member, one Evans Kuro, a -20-year-old, Taye Paul and Diepreye, who confessed how the police was killed. They confessed being members of the Greenlander confraternity.
“Those involved in robbery are members of cult group so parents should watch them, they should know what their children are doing and that was the reason I had interactive session with traditional rulers.
“We appealed to them to help us take the message to their communities. If you look at the age grade, none of them is up to 25 years, they should be in school but they take to cultism which doesn’t pay.
“So, every parent should watch their children. We have about 17 suspects involved in cultism and various crimes, we recovered about 12 locally made pistols and seven suspects in murder related crimes.
“We had been carrying out raids on identified criminal hideouts and we are stemming the temple. It’s almost two weeks now we are raiding the black spots and we will continue until we rid Bayelsa state of criminal elements.
“We are equal to the task and you can see nothing has changed and its five days since Doo-Akpor left the road and we are coping fine. Nothing like upsurge in crime because Doo-Akpor is no longer on the road. We are equal to the task.”
Some of the suspects who spoke with newsmen confirmed their involvement with the various cult groups in the state, especially the Greenlanders and Icelanders.