19 suspected cultists arrested in connection with Alakuko mayhem

The Lagos State Police Command on Monday said 19 suspected cultists have been arrested in the cult-related clash that occurred at Alakuko area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

The Lagos State Police Command on Monday said 19 suspected cultists have been arrested in the cult-related clash that occurred at Alakuko area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Commissioner for Police, Hakeem Odumosu, while reacting to the ongoing cult related fracas at Alakuko, Dalemo and Kola areas of the state, confirmed the arrest of 19 suspected cultists during the crises.

Items recovered from them included dangerous weapons, assorted charms and weeds suspected to be Indian hemp.

Odumosu set the record straight that the intelligence at the command’s disposal revealed that the hoodlums came from Otta axis of Ogun State to lay siege on the affected border communities on cult related crises and that the command has been repelling them.

He said the command has deployed additional police personnel, including Police Mobile Force, to curtail the hoodlums; and restored normalcy to the crises affected communities.

Odumosu also directed that the arrested suspects be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba for discreet Investigation.

He, however, called on the community leaders in the areas to support the police in combating the crises and getting rid of the bad boys and their antics in their respective areas and in the state at large.

Odumosu assured that the command was working assiduously with the Ogun State Police Command to decimate the activities of the hoodlums and cultists in the border areas and towns across the state.

Meanwhile, the commissioner has renewed his vow to suppress any act of lawlessness and hooliganism across the length and breadth of Lagos State.

The police boss made the assertion on Monday  while addressing and deliberating on security issues with the Area Commanders and Police Mobile Force Commanders in Lagos State.

The meeting centred on the general security and public safety of Lagos State as the command has recorded some acts of lawlessness in some areas of the state.

He warned motorcycle operators, commercial drivers and Lagosians in general to respect the laws of the state and desist from attacking police personnel and other security operatives who are enforcing the Lagos State Traffic Regulations and COVID-19 safety protocols.

He emphasised that the command would continue to discharge its duties without fair or favour.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.