By Emma Elebeke
The Bayelsa State Government is building a digital and integrated security control and communications centre in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rt) announced this on Monday while briefing members of the National Good Governance Tour in Yenagoa, the State Capital during an inspection of the construction of the Integrated Security Control and Communication Centre.
He said the Centre is aimed at complementing ongoing efforts by Federal government to ensure security of life and property in the state and would also serve as the coordinating headquarters of all security operations in the state through an electronic platform.
He recalled that at the inception of their administration, the biggest challenge they faced was insecurity which resulted in the loss of so many lives.
“When we came into government, the greatest challenge we had was security; cult activities, fighting, killings. There was hardly any day that we did not record two or three deaths. So we invested so much in security to ensure that Bayelsa State is safe,” he said.
He confirmed that at the moment, Yenagoa is very safe and that there is a functional system in place whereby the whole town could be locked down to prevent criminals from escaping after committing crime.
The Deputy Governor disclosed that when the Centre is completed, government would be able to monitor everything happening in the state electronically. “This is a custom-built area which when fully equipped with all the gadgets that you can think of were modern, we will be able to make sure this place is quite safe,” he said.
Furthermore, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd) said a law to punish kidnappers in the state is already in place and that with the new security arrangement, kidnappers could be arrested to face trial.
Bayelsa State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Erijakpo Lawrence said the project which was awarded at a cost of 290 million Naira would be ready by the end of March this year.
The Commissioner also explained that the centre is to have a situation room where prompt decisions on security can be taken by the Governor. He equally noted that the facility is situated close to the Governor’s residence for ease of access to the centre.
Speaking at the project site, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku harped on the need for states in the Niger Delta to place high premium on security of life and property of citizens.
The Minister who noted that the region was destabilized for almost 15 years because of issues of marginalization that resulted into militancy said “We are solving it now with the Amnesty Programme and the relative peace that has returned to the Niger Delta.