From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has announced plans to revamp the state-owned security outfit, codenamed ‘Operation Doo-Akpo’.
Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who gave the indication in Government House at a meeting with traditional rulers from Yenagoa, restated the need for traditional rulers to be vigilant and take charge of security in their domains.
Ewhrudjakpo, who reminded them of the acts of banditry and wanton destruction of lives and property in other parts of the country, assured that the state government was working hard to strengthen the security architecture of the state to make it more effective and efficient.
‘We are trying to revamp Doo-Akpo. In the next couple of months, it will be back to its usual capacity of responding to distress calls promptly. They are being equipped,’ he said.
‘In terms of maritime security, we are not leaving anything to chance. Very soon, we will work with the House of Assembly to get a law on maritime curfew, so that no speed boats will move at 7 pm, except on special duty. We will then activate the marine police.’
He further explained that youths in the communities would also be involved in the security arrangement where there would be collaboration with the paramount rulers and the Community Development Committees to prevent criminals from infiltrating villages to perpetrate crime.
Responding to the concern raised by the Ebenibe of Atissa Kingdom, King Godwin Igodo, on access to those in charge of security in the state, he maintained that the new security structure would enable traditional rulers to have direct access to the special adviser on security to fight crimes in their communities.
‘There has been politicisation of security issues since 2015 in this state. And the government that has exclusive control over security has refused to rise to the occasion of insecurity in the name of politics.
‘They have nurtured, fed and grown monsters. But I can assure you that things are changing gradually. Within the confines of our laws, they will be tackled and this place will be too hot for them. It’s better for them to change now or they leave the state,’ he said.