By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Bayelsa State Police command yesterday blamed the inability of its men to effectively combat the menace of sea piracy in the creeks of the state on dearth of serviceable speed boats and pleaded with the chairmen of the eight local government councils in the state to assist it with logistics to enable it prevent and fight crime more effectively.
The state Commissioner of Police, Elder Onuoha Udeka, at an interactive session with the local government council chairmen at the commandâ€™s headquarters in Yenagoa, said the Police took seriously the protection of lives and property of law abiding citizens but lamented that the lack of adequate logistics had adversely affected operations in the predominantly riverine state.
To effectively prevent and combat crime in the state, especially sea piracy along the creeks, the state police boss said, the command needed sufficient vehicles and speedboats, among others.
He noted that Bayelsaâ€™s terrain, which is the third largest wetland in the world, had been posing serious challenge toÂ law enforcement and policing in the state.
He said the police marine department in the command had been making the best use of the logistics at its disposal with little or no impact on sea piracy in the state.
â€œThe nonavailability of serviceable speed engine boats to checkmate the menace of the spate of sea piracy in the state has caused great anxiety and concern to Bayelsans and other stakeholders,â€ he said.
Udeka, who recalled that council chairmen under the auspices of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, had in the past significantly boosted the efforts of the police by providing Toyota Prado SUVs for crime prevention, called on the chairmen to also leave a footprint on the sands of time.
Describing the council chairmen as chief security officers of respective local government areas, the police chief urged them to appreciate the challenges of policing in their jurisdictions and partner with the police in translating the vision and strategies of law enforcement and crime prevention into reality.
The police, Elder Onuoha said had adopted the security road map of intelligence driven policing, community policing and strategic partnership with stakeholders at all levels of governance.
In his response, the chairman of Southern Ijaw local government council and the state chairman of ALGON, Timipa Tiwei Orunimighe, assured the Commissioner of Police that the commandâ€™s requests would be considered and described police as a protector of life and property for law abiding citizenry
Also speaking, the chairman of Sagbama local government council, Peres Peretu, commended the commandâ€™s effort at ensuring a crime-free Bayelsa.
Peretu, however, informed the command of complaints by indigenes of Sagbama over marginalization in the on-going police recruitment exercise in the state.