As part of efforts geared towards tackling kidnapping, sea piracy and other criminal activities in Bayelsa, the state government is to enforce the registration of engine boats with a speed capacity of 200-horsepower and above, plying the waterways of the state to make them available for registration.
Addressing Government House Correspondents, shortly after the 32nd State Security Council meeting in Yenagoa on Thursday, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Paul Okafor, noted that, intelligence gathering at the disposal of security agencies reveals that, in recent times, kidnappers have been carrying out their operations in the state, with high-speed capacity boats.
Okafor, who restated the determination of the state police command and other security agencies to combating crime and criminality with a renewed vigour, especially as the state governorship elections approach, expressed optimism that, registering such boats for easy identification will help to check the menace.
Declaring the meeting open, Governor Seriake Dickson, had vowed not to allow perpetrators of crime and violence to use the state as a launch path to truncate the prevailing peace and stability in the Niger Delta region.
Governor Dickson, who expressed displeasure at the resurgence of kidnapping in the state, warned those who are engaged in the unwholesome practice and other criminal activities to desist forthwith or face the wrath of the government.
To maintain national security, he said his administration would continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Government to crack down on unrepentant criminals, who are hellbent on truncating the existing peace in the state.
Reaffirming the present administration’s commitment to the maintenance of peace, law and order, the governor commended security agencies and people of the state for working with his administration to record its current level of achievements in the security sub-sector.
According to him, ” I want to appreciate our security services, because if you look at the crime statistics in the whole country, the crime statistics of this state is still one of the least among the states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“And that is as a result of the dedication and commitment of our wonderful commanders and the leadership they are providing for their men and officers. I’ll also like to commend the cooperation of the citizenry, without which security cannot be possible, because it is everybody’s business.
Continuing, he said, ” Let me use this opportunity to advise those misguided few, who are into kidnapping to stop forthwith. Those of you, who may still have one or two in your custody to release them. And for those of you, who are involved in sea-piracy, armed robbery, rape and all other criminal activities, Bayelsa is not a safe place to harbour any of these criminal activities.
“Government and security agencies are keenly following security developments in this state and our region. And we are united and resolute in seeing to it that our state cannot be used as a launch pad for any criminal act in this region. I’ll like all youths not to succumb to the temptation if crime and criminality. Get away from the life of kidnapping that we are seeing some resurgence in that direction.
Bayelsa, which is mainly a coastal state is enmeshed in mangroves,swamps, creeks,Rivers and Rivulets records high incidents of sea piracy and kidnapping with the use high capacity engine speed boats for quick getaways that beat drag nets of security agents.