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IYC expresses concern over rising violent crime in Bayelsa


From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has expressed concern over the rising cases of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the state, despite the efforts of the Diri administration to provide support to security agencies.

According to the IYC, although the state government had recently provided over fifty patrol vehicles and financial support to boost security agencies, the morale of the rank and file is low.

IYC national spokesman Ebilade Ekerefe, in a media interactive session with reporters in Yenagoa, accused the heads of security agencies in the state of not doing enough to stem the rising and worrisome trends in kidnapping, high-profile killings and violent crimes in the state despite the huge investment in the security of the state by the Diri administration.

“The question we are asking is that despite the huge resources by Governor Diri to security agencies in the state, we are not getting value for money. There is available evidence that the morale of the rank and file are very low. The top echelon of the security agencies is not doing enough to motivate their men in taking their jobs seriously. Nobody in the state is happy about the high trend of kidnapping and criminality in the state,” he stated.

“As Ijaw Youths Council, we find it difficult to believe that the security agencies are not doing their jobs effectively. People come into the state and kidnap with impunity and nobody has been arrested. Nobody has been made to pay for the crimes they have committed and it has made the criminals to be emboldened to do more with affront. The borders of the state are porous and security operatives seem not interested in searching and querying what goes into the state and comes out,” he said.

Read also: Police nab notorious cultist in Kwara

He pointed out that the worrisome trends have made the security of lives and property a collective business.

“The Bayelsa Government has provided the needed support, but what now stops the security agencies from carrying out their legitimate duty? The security agencies in Bayelsa should sit up as people are dying and they seek justice and those alive seek protection. People are being kidnapped at will and nobody knows where these violent activities will take us to.”

He also announced that the Ijaw Youths in all the clans and communities in the state have been placed on red alert to gather and provide intelligence to security agencies in order to stop the worrisome security trend.

“As we are going into another round of the election, if we don’t speak out, some political elements that don’t mean well for the peace in the state could capitalise on it. There should be no sacred cow in fighting crime and criminality. It is not a crime for the people of Bayelsa to live peacefully. The state security agency, Operation Door Akpor, should also rise up to the occasion and boost the morale of the rank and file. Instead of addressing the worrisome crime, they are going after petty issues that can be resolved by the dispute and conflict resolution desks. We want to believe that the efforts of Gov Douye Diri are not being undermined by some fifth columnist. Enough is enough.”

“We call on the governor and government of the state to summon a security summit to address these issues. Traditional rulers and youth presidents involved in activities that condoned criminality should be exposed and heads of security agencies not using the huge funds being approved by the government for intelligence and motivation of rank and file should also be exposed. Logistics approved to security agencies are meant for security matters, not private pockets. The patrol vehicle handed to security agencies is not for personal use but for security. These vehicles are not visible in the state.”

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