The Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, has said that it is wrong to call the gunmen terrorising the state “unknown gunmen” as there is nothing unknown about them.
He said the command knew the suspects and had arrested some of them.
Echeng said this on Monday while addressing newsmen in Awka, the state capital, adding that the command had vowed to go after them and deal with them.
Echeng also refuted the rumour that the gunmen killed a kidnapped lawmaker in the state, Okechukwu Okoye, because of his refusal to pay ransom. He said he was never aware that ransom was demanded or paid for the lawmaker.
“There is nothing unknown about the gunmen terrorising Anambra State, to warrant calling then “unknown gunmen.” We have been saying that “unknown gunmen” is not the right name for these criminals. We are trying to mystify something that is not just there.
“It is time we go into demystifying them. These people are not spirits, they live with us, they are our nephews, our cousins, our brothers, and they live in communities. We know who they are.
“The problem of security is that of total silence as nobody sees something, nobody hears something and nobody says something,” the CP said.
According to him, “Crimes are localised, and they happen in our communities. We should be able to come up with information of what is happening in our communities, not glorifying them and tagging them “unknown gunmen,” otherwise we will end up not making headway. We know them, we have actually arrested some of them and they are human beings.
“I want us to also shift the narrative that these criminals are Fulani. We have arrested some and taken out some during gun duels. So, when the communities that should help to contribute to security decide to stay quiet, that is not a good sign.”
Recalling the incident of last Monday, the commissioner said, “Last week a person I didn’t know told me that a team of gunmen were operating at Umunze in a Hummer Jeep, I sent a team after them, and we were told they had moved to Umuchu and we pursued them and were able to take out four of them.
“I don’t know the man who gave me the information, but we used the information to fight the criminals. That black Hummer Jeep you see there (pointing to it) was recovered from the criminals.
“You can see what information can do. That is how powerful information is, and we expect people to give information.”