Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has urged non-indigenes resident in the state to join forces with the government in fighting against kidnapping, cultism and other criminal activities.
Diri stated this in an interactive meeting with representatives of various non-indigenous associations in Government House, Yenagoa.
The governor represented by his deputy, Senator 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.
Diri while stressing 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, empathized with families of victims of kidnap and other unwholesome acts of some criminals.
Senator Diri called on the non-indigenes to stop the blame game and do what he described as self-cleansing adding that 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.
In their separate contributions, the member, representing Yenagoa Constituency One 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.
To this end, the Special Adviser on Security Matters, CP Akpoebi Agberebi (Rtd), informed that the government had already procured new operational vehicles with modern communication gadgets being installed for use by the state-owned Doo Akpor security outfit.
On their part, the Special Adviser 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 the government for being proactive by convening the interactive session.
While criticising the indiscriminate use of tinted vehicles and sirens 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.
Others who made contributions included the Chairman, Swali Market Igbo Traders Association, Mr Jude Osigwe, President of Unified Traders Association, Sir Akabueze Pius, Chairman, Supermarkets Union, Mr Ndubuisi Ahubalueze, representative of Igbo Professionals, Mr Anthony Olikagu, and the Women Leader of Ohaneze in Bayelsa, Mrs Ijeoma Ikedieze.