Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday inaugurated a state security outfit code named Bayelsa State Volunteers with a membership of 1000 youths to complement the efforts of other security outfits in reducing crimes and other related vices in the state.
The membership drawn from the eight local government areas are to engage in community based intelligence gathering.
According to the governor, additional 100 graduate youths would be recruited to support the efforts of the state volunteers.
Dickson while inaugurating the outfit yesterday evening in Yenagoa, enjoined the members to work closely with the constituted authorities in their communities to forestall any security breach.
He words: “I want to specifically charge you all, because of the times we are living in. You have to be, particularly watchful and make sure that people do not use you to do things that you are not meant to do.
“You are to mobilize support for the government and work with the security agencies; you are to work with all constituted authorities in your communities. Where you suspect any imminent breach of the peace, you are to alert the agencies and that is why your overall coordinator is a Police officer.
“You are also going to support the great work the state is doing and ensure that the youths in this state are better informed about what we are doing. That is very important, because when they want to create confusion, they just spread false stories.”
According to him, “the volunteers and their coordinators are expected to engage in community based intelligence gathering to aid the other state security agencies in stemming criminal acts, such as crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and piracy on the waterways.
“In this state, we do not want to see cultism again that will make young people to be killing themselves on the streets of Yenagoa. Our policy of zero tolerance to criminality, violence and cultism stays.”
Dickson, who noted that the administration’s policy on zero tolerance was still in place, cautioned that, government would not condone acts capable of causing disaffection among the people and destabilizing the state.
He further advised the youths not to allow themselves to be used to foment trouble, emphasizing that, government would take appropriate action to bring the full weight of the law to bear on them.
“Let me make this clear that anybody, who wants to use the youths of this state to foment crisis, whether it is by way of mindless killing or it is an attempt to use youths to create crises; or mindless action that is aimed at destabilizing this state and returning it back to those old dark days, I have the mandate, duty and authority to ensure that appropriate measures are taken in accordance with the law,” he said
In his acceptance speech, the state coordinator of the volunteers, Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr. Emmanuel Asufi assured the government of their readiness to work towards actualizing the objectives assigned them.