By Tony Nwanne
The Nigeria Police has revealed that it would deploy security dogs to remote and flash points areas of the country as part of efforts to curtail cattle rustling and boost the security situation in the country.
This move, according to the police, is expected to help combat this type of crime in the country.
The police disclosed this strategy in Abuja, yesterday, during the passing-out parade of 19 personnel of the Nigeria Air Force who were trained on patrol dog handling courses.
The training, which was conducted by the police, lasted three months and focused on dog handling.
While speaking at the event, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Force Animal Branch (AIG), Charles Ugomoh, disclosed that the IGP had approved the strategy, among others, that will curb cattle rustling.
According to him: “The Nigeria Police Force is giving zero tolerance to cattle rustling in Nigeria and, as part of its effort, the IGP, in furtherance to other machineries put in place, has approved the implementation of the communiqué for the curtailment of cattle rustling.”
He explained that the implementation of the communiqué will begin the flag-off of the ‘Operation Show Your Loading and Offloading Permit’ at states and federal animal posts.
AIG Ugomoh further said: “With the acquisition and commissioning of three fully powered air conditioned dog trailers, the K9 operations would now be extended to remote areas and other flash points in the country to fight crime and criminality and to facilitate the Nigeria Police Force’s zero tolerance for cattle rustling.”
Speaking on the importance of dogs to security, the AIG said: “Today, we are witnessing a new trend of terrorism and other organised crimes. Trained dogs are indispensable in the deployment and sniffing of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), narcotics, arms and ammunition, airport luggage compartment, among others. Dogs have proven to be dynamic and, when well-trained, use their natural odour instincts to march down the tide of crime and criminalities.”
The deputy inspector-general of police (DIG), Operations, Habila Joshak, corroborated Ugomoh’s statement on the usefulness of security dogs.
He said: “The place of dogs in security operations cannot be over-emphasised. They are relevant at our borders, sea and land, and that is why they are very expensive and not quite affordable.
“We must also realise that dogs add value to security. What one dog can do, 30 policemen might find it difficult to do, so they are very essential when it comes to the issue of security.”