INSECURITY: BAYELSA GOES TOUGH ON KIDNAPPING, PIPELINE VANDALISM
……BANS USE OF 200 HORSE POWER BOATS.
Bayelsa State Government on Monday banned the use of 200 horse power engine boats and directed security agencies to commence stop and search operations on both land and the waterways.
The decision, which was reached at the state 35th State security council meeting in Yenagoa, and presided over by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, was part of efforts to combat kidnapping, sea piracy and other criminal activities.
The ban, however, excluded only security operatives to use such fast-paced engine boats.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Peter Ogunyanwo, spoke with journalists, shortly after the meeting held alongside the Commander, Joint Forces, Major General Alani Okunlola, and the state Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Desmond Agu.
He said the prohibition takes immediate effect.
According to Ogunyanwo, the Council also directed that henceforth no vehicles will be allowed to move in the state with their registration numbers covered, just as it advised users of factory tinted glasses to visit the Nigeria Police website to find out the procedure of renewal of such vehicles for compliance on or before the end of March, this year to avoid confiscation.
The CP added that, the State Security Council equally advised residents of the State to stop indiscriminate burning of refuse and bushfire, as it constitutes grave consequences to public health and facilities.
Declaring the meeting open, Governor Dickson handed down a stern warning to those, who are allegedly planning to destroy national assets in the state, particularly pipeline vandals, to jettison such plans or face the wrath of the law.
The Governor, who condemned in strong terms, the recent explosion that rocked an AGIP facility in Brass Local Government Area of the state, reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to partnering with the Federal Government to combat crime and violence.
He attributed the upsurge in kidnapping and other sponsored criminal acts to political activities leading up to the state governorship elections and assured that, his administration in collaboration with all relevant agencies was working round the clock to bring the situation under control.
Calling on perpetrators of the crimes to have a change of heart, Governor Dickson vowed to deal decisively with anyone caught working against peace and security in the state, especially now that elections were over.
His words: “Anybody who wants to think of destroying strategic assets located within Bayelsa should think twice, because we will not allow anybody to use Bayelsa State to foment crisis, either within the state or within the Niger Delta region and our country at large.
“The security agencies with support from my government and our citizens will flush out those who are into such acts. We know that people have been using politics as a cover for crime and criminality and violence. Elections are over for good. And so,both they and their sponsors must desist forthwith.
“And those who have made it a business of making a distinction between criminals according to political affiliations must stop. Crime is crime for us as a government irrespective of the political persuasion of the perpetrators. Elections are over and that cover they were using to compromise state security is now no more available.
“Let me also use this opportunity to call on those who are using their contacts and friends wherever or whoever they maybe to intimidate officials that are doing their legitimate job of securing this state and our country to think twice because that will not do anybody any good.
He commended security agencies for their efforts at protecting lives and property, sometimes even in the face of difficult working conditions and called on all stakeholders to support them perform their duties better for the good of the society.
The state Chief Executive, particularly urged the people to be alive to their civic responsibilities of volunteering useful information to security agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of pipeline vandals, kidnappers and sea pirates, adding that, the government would soon come up with a comprehensive security strategy to rid the state of perpetrators of criminal activities irrespective of their political affiliations and status.