Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the police high command for establishing the Zone 16 Police Headquarters in Yenagoa, the state capital.
He said it will boost his administrantion’s stance on zero tolerance to crime.
Diri stated this during the courtesy visit of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 16, Austin Agbolahan, to Government House, Yenagoa.
His words: “Let me express my profound gratitude to the Inspector General of Police and indeed President Buhari for approving the siting of this new police headquarters in this state covering Bayelsa and Rivers.
“With the coming of this zonal command, it is a signal that there is no hiding place for criminal elements in the state. Therefore they should have a change of heart and join the government in promoting peaceful co-existence in Yenagoa and environs.”
He noted that the new police formation would promote the status of the state in the security architecture of the country.
He also thanked the immediate past Commissioner of Police, Nkereuwem Akpan, for his meritorious service in the state, which he said has earned him a deserved elevation to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police.
Senator Diri announced the provision of a temporary operational base and official accommodation for the AIG in charge of the zone while his security team would work out modalities for a smooth take-off of the permanent office for the command.
In his remarks, AIG Austin Agbolahan promised that more manpower resources at his disposal would be adequately equipped to combat crime in the state.
He solicited the assistance of the state government in the provision of logistics support to facilitate the full take off of the command.
Earlier, when he received the new sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state, Robert Ogom, the governor said his development agenda for the state includes provision of road infrastructure to open up the state capital.
He assured that the Gateway Road within the state capital would be constructed in addition to completion of the AIT-Elebele-Bayelsa Palm road inherited from previous administrations.
Diri, who noted that construction work on the first phase of the Etegwe/Edepie flyover project had commenced with the expansion of the roundabout in the area, emphasised that his administration was poised to add value to the lives of the people.
“Be assured that the state government was ready to collaborate with the FRSC to ensure free flow of traffic in the state capital. We have started taking action at the roundabout in the Etegwe/Edepie axis and by the time we unfold our development, it will involve our plan to construct more roads to decongest traffic in Yenagoa.”
Commenting on requests for logistic support by federal agencies in the state, the governor advocated the need for the federal government to review the revenue sharing formula with states having a greater percentage.
He said it was an erroneous belief that oil producing states have so much funds at their disposal because of the 13% derivation principle.
In a related development, the governor described the Nigerian Navy as a strategic partner in checking the incidence of pipeline vandalism, piracy, kidnapping, illegal refinery and other criminal activities in the state’s maritime domain.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the new Commander of the Nigeria Naval Ship (NNS) Soroh, Commodore Patrick Effah, he promised to discuss ways of assisting the maritime outpost at Toru Orua in Sagbama local government area to enhance its operations.
“For us we see the Navy traditionally as our institution. Listening to you gives us joy that you have come to partner and synergise with the government of Bayelsa State.
“The criminality that we have witnessed in the waterways in our state is worrisome. People travel in those days with their canoes, far and near, even at night without fear of attack but that’s no longer the case today.
“Our rivers have also been polluted all in the name of illegal refineries all over the place. When you go into some local government areas you can perceive the odour floating on the same river, which serves as a source of drinking water.”
The Comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Bayelsa State Command, Betty Alawode, also paid a familiarisation visit to the governor upon assumption of duty in the state.
She is the first female Comptroller to be posted to the state.