Bayelsa Poll; Dickson tasks security agencies on peaceful exercise
MR PHILIP EKE, YENAGOA
As activities for the December 5 governorship poll in Bayelsa gather momentum, Governor Seriake Dickson has urged security agencies to intensify efforts at keeping the state safe before, during and after the election.
Granting audience to the new Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Apoehi Suleiman, in Yenagoa on Wednesday, Governor Dickson restated his administration’s commitment to partnering with the Navy to effectively police the waterways in the state.
He expressed concern over the resurgence of kidnapping in the state, stressing that government’s efforts to secure the Bayelsa environment for business and other social activities would yield little result if the Command fails in its mandate.
While congratulating the new Flag Officer on his posting, Hon Dickson commended officers and men of the Command for their dedication to duty, which he noted, has resulted in an increase in crude oil production in the state.
He also used the opportunity to laud the immediate past Flag Officer Commanding of the Central Naval Command for the leadership he provided as well as working tirelessly with other security agencies to keep the state safe and urged the new FOC to do same.
The governor also assured the Federal Government that his administration would spare no effort in its partnership with security agencies to sustain the war against oil theft and piracy as well as protecting the state from being used as a launching pad for insurgency.
His words: “We expect no less from you. And at a time that our state is gearing up for general election, we are counting so much from the Navy and other related services to ensure that violence along the waterways does not discredit or mar the poll.
“Bayelsa cannot be safe until the Navy plays its own role because of our maritime nature. The security of even the upland areas depend so much on the security of the creeks and waterways. And those are areas of your expertise and responsibilities that come with your office and that of your officers and men.
We had addressed the issue of kidnapping before, but in the last couple of months, we are beginning to get cases of kidnapping. It is not peculiar to Bayelsa, but even one kidnap incident is bad enough. So, I like to use this opportunity not just to point out these issues but also to commend your men because I’m aware that with a renewed determination and zeal, your officers and men have doing so well that crude oil production has started going up.
Earlier in his remarks, the new Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Apeohi Suleiman, said the visit was to enable him formally introduce himself to the Governor and exchange ideas on how to strengthen the bond of partnership existing between the state government and the Nigerian Navy.
Rear Admiral Suleiman assured the state government of the Command’s determination to not only executing its mandate in the Niger Delta, but also synergise with other security agencies to ensure peaceful conduct of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.