Governor Douye Diri has urged non-indigenes resident in Bayelsa State to join forces with his government in fighting against kidnapping, cultism and other criminal activities.
He made the call m at an interactive meeting with representatives of various non-indigenous associations in Government House, Yenagoa.
Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, identified the protection of life and property as the most important duty of any government, assuring that his administration would continue to prioritize security issues.
The governor, however, emphasized the need for everybody to contribute towards making Bayelsa a safer place to live in and carry out legitimate socio-economic activities by cooperating with security agencies.
While empathizing with families of victims of kidnap and other unwholesome acts of some criminals, the called on the non-indigenes to stop the blame game and do what he described as self-cleansing.
According to him, available security statistics indicate that most of the crimes happening in Yenagoa, the state capital, and its environs are being perpetrated by outsiders.
He frowned at the situation where some traders aid and abet armed robbery and other crimes by buying and selling stolen goods such as phones, electrical accessories and vehicle parts.
Diri also used the opportunity to call on the non indigenous traders not to carry out their planned shutdown of shops to protest against the recent kidnap of their member.
While promising to look into some of their suggestions, he said that state government would soon meet with selected representatives to discuss on how to strengthen security in their homes and business premises.
In their separate remarks, the member, representing Yenagoa Constituency I in the state House of Assembly, Hon Oforji Oboku, Secretary to the State Government, Rt Hon. Konbowei Benson and Commissioner of Police, CP Benjamin Okolo, assured that efforts were underway to improve security in the state.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, CP Akpoebi Agberebi (Rtd), said that the state government had already procured new operational vehicles with modern communication gadgets being installed for use by the state owned ‘Doo Akpor security outfit’.
In the same vein, the Special Adviser to the Gov. on Political Matters, Chief Collins Cocodia and his Non Indigenes counterpart, Mr Onuma Johnson, lauded the present administration for the unprecedented number of appointments given to non-indigenes in the state.
Representatives of non-indigenes who spoke at the meeting including the Oba of Yoruba in Bayelsa, HRH Alhaji Olayemi Adesoye, the state Deputy President of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, and a representative of Isoko Community, Chief Ugolo Nathaniel, also commended government for being proactive by convening the interactive session.
While criticising the indiscriminate use of tinted vehicles and siren in the state, they appealed to the government to prevail on security agencies to intensify efforts towards curbing kidnapping and other crimes for Bayelsa to remain as one of the safest states in the country.