They accused the heads of security agencies in the state of not doing enough to stem the rising and worrisome cases of kidnapping, high-profile killings and violent crimes in the state.
The umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has expressed concern over the rising cases of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the state.
According to the IYC, though the Bayelsa State Government recently provided over 50 patrol vehicles and financial support to boost security agencies, it seems the morale of the rank and file is low and lacking the necessary motivation from their bosses.
The National Spokesman for the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe in a media interactive session with journalists in Yenagoa, accused the heads of security agencies in the state of not doing enough to stem the rising and worrisome cases of kidnapping, high-profile killings and violent crimes in the state.
Ekerefe noted that though the security agencies are working, they are not doing enough to stem the worrisome tide.
“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 is 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 said.
“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 however pointed out that the worrisome trend has made the security of lives and property everyone’s business.
“The Bayelsa Government has provided the needed support but what now stopped 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 said.
He also announced that Ijaw youths in all the clans and communities in the state have been placed on red alert to gather and provide intelligence for security agencies in order to stop the worrisome security trend.
He said, “As we are going into another round of elections if we don’t speak out, some political elements that don’t mean well for the peace in the state could capitalize 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 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 Governor 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 vehicles handed to security agencies are not for personal use but for security. These vehicles are not visible in the state.”
Ekerefe also took a swipe at Ijaw youths for not doing enough to assist security agencies to arrest those involved in crime and criminality.
“The security situation in the state is taking an alarming level. You are a youth and you said you want jobs but you are condoning insecurity, how do you get jobs when investors cannot come into the state? You are a youth and an indigene of the state and you got wind of the plan to kidnap someone and you kept quiet, you are also a criminal if you don’t tell the security agencies. This is not what an Ijaw man is known for and it is very sad,” he said.
He called for the unconditional release of all kidnap victims.