Twenty-two suspected criminals have been paraded by the Bayelsa State Police Command at the state police headquarters in Yenagoa, the Delta State capital.

Also paraded on Wednesday were those involved in the murder of the 16-year-old year one student of the Niger Delta University, Seifeya Fred, and the killing of a police coporal, Sammy Saturday, last month.

Joseph Mutan, the state Commissioner of Police, said the suspects were apprehended with the assistance of the state vigilante service and other stakeholders.

The Police Commissioner, who resumed office a few weeks ago, said he observed that most of the prevalent crimes in the state like armed robbery and rape were all related to cultism, and called for the cooperation of Bayelsans to address it.

His words: "As a counter security measure, we will intensify our operations on hideouts 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 Novermber, at about 5am, with the assistance of the Bayelsa State vigilante service, one John Daumunabo, 20 years old, of Ebi Mechanic Taos, Amarata, was arrested with a 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-year-old male, in connection with armed robbery and murder of Coporal 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, aged 20, Taye Paul and Diepreye, who confessed to the killing of the officer. They confessed to being members of the Greenlander confraternity.

"Those involved in robbery are members of cult groups, so parents should watch them. They should know what their children are doing, and that was the reason I had an 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 old. They should be in school but they take to cultism which doesn't pay.

"So parents 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. For almost two weeks now, we have been raiding black spots and we will continue until we rid Bayelsa State of criminal elements."

Some of the suspects, who spoke with newsmen, confirmed their involvement with the various cult groups in the state, especially the Greenlanders and Icelanders.

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