‘98% of explosives criminals use imported before border closure’

The Explosive Ordnance Department of the Nigeria Police Force has revealed that the majority of explosive and radioactive materials in the hands of criminals were imported before the border closure.

The Commissioner of Police, EOD Command, Sheu Maikudi, stated that few of the explosives were sourced from local dealers.

Maikudi spoke on Thursday at the first quarterly conference of the command in Ikeja, Lagos, noting that stiffer punishment would be meted out to firms found engaging in illegal dealing.

He said the efforts were ongoing to mop the explosives in the face of the emerging security threats in the country.

Speaking on the theme, “EOD Dynamics: Enhancing Nuclear/Chemical Security in Nigeria, the CP said there was an urgent need to devise corresponding tactics to address “the dynamics in the strategies devised by terrorist groups.”

He stated, “It is obvious that recent crime statistics in Nigeria indicate an emerging trend in form of terrorists coordinated attacks on both soft targets and security agencies and facilities, especially in the north-eastern part of the country.

“With the growing spate of violent crimes which at times involve the use of improvised explosive devices resulting in indiscriminate destruction of lives and property, there is an urgent need for corresponding actions to be taken.

“We want to review our last year strategies, improve on them and make adjustments where necessary. The truth is most of the explosive materials criminals use do not come from local manufacturers; 98 per cent were imported before the border closure. We have to deal with the situation by mopping up the items.”

Maikudi said the command would retrain operatives in radiation detection and response and procure more relevant equipment for deployment in vulnerable areas across the country.

He added, “I, therefore, charge all officers and men of the command to put in their best in performing their responsibilities and continue to synergise with other security agencies in addressing the prevailing security challenges.” Punch

Pix: Police IG, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu