Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has charged heads of security agencies in the state to redouble their effort in tackling the rising incidence of kidnapping.

Governor Diri gave the charge in his maiden security council meeting while urging the security chiefs to maintain a high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said in a statement that the governor also challenged them to place the interest of the state at par with that of the security of the country.

At the meeting held in Government House, Yenagoa, the governor said: “While the security of lives and property rest squarely within the ambit of the federal government, our administration will not fold its arms and watch cases of kidnapping and harassment of citizens by criminal elements go unaddressed.

“If you remove security, national currency and others, every other thing in the federal system of government is under the state government be it education, health, infrastructure among others. National security is the pride to every nation.

“So, you are here representing Nigeria and Bayelsa State. The way you serve here will determine what God has for you in future. As you serve diligently, with all amount of commitment, unbiased and apolitical, you have a name that transcends politics and political parties.

“From my working relationship with some of you for about five months, I have seen that you try to avoid being politicised. Please keep it up.”

Diri, who welcomed the new Commissioner of Police to the state, Mr. Mike Okoli, expressed optimism that he would synergise and cooperate with the other security organs to ensure there were no threats beyond their reach.

He explained that those asking why a new police commissioner has again been posted to the state should know that there was no political manoeuvring from any quarters. Instead, he said, the former CP only moved according to the service rules and that Bayelsans were happy that someone who served in the state was elevated to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police.

“For the few months that he (Akpan Ekereuwem) was here, he served diligently and showed understanding with the people. If I was asked to rate the CP, I would have scored him 80% for his promotion.”

The governor emphasised that the policy of his administration was zero tolerance for crime and that his government will cooperate with the service commanders to ensure that Bayelsans sleep with their two eyes closed.

“Every government is successful only when there is peace and security. No matter the level of infrastructure development, if human lives are not safe and secured, that government is a failure.”

In attendance at the inaugural meeting were heads of the Police, Army, Air Force, Navy, Civil Defense, Department of State Security and the Immigration.