Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
On the heels of rising tension over the killing of several security operatives in the state in the last one month, the Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, wednesday summoned community leaders in an attempt to curb the trend.
Specifically, the governor condemned ‘in very strong terms’, the unwarranted murder of four security personnel in Nembe Creek and three naval personnel in Foropa community in Nembe and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas of the state.
While describing the recent ambush on the security men as ‘unprovoked,’ the governor opined that the attacks on the nation’s security personnel were putting the state and the region in bad light.
As part of the steps to check the activities of the youths, the unwholesome trend and improving the security situation in the state, Dickson noted that community leaders, elders and other stakeholders would be summoned to a meeting.
The governor expressed regret over the various incidents and called on the perpetrators of the dastardly killings and their collaborators to stop with immediate effect.
“Terrorism does not favour peace, neither can democracy express itself through violence,” Dickson emphasised.
The governor’s condemnation came even as President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the military to go on a manhunt for the perpetrators and clamp down on all security threats in the Niger Delta region.
Dickson stated that the killings were also putting the innocent ones in the state and the Niger Delta region in danger.
The governor warned against a replay of the Odi massacre in 1999, during the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, in which the governor said only the innocent people suffered.
To avoid another military invasion, the governor called on community leaders and other stakeholders to check the activities of youths in their domains.
Dickson, however, said the government was already working in concert with the security agents to bring the culprits to book and forestall any future occurrences.
THISDAY recalled that the Odi massacre was an attack carried out on November 20, 1999, by the Nigerian military on the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa State.
Before the massacre, 12 members of the Nigerian police were murdered by suspected militants near Odi, while the military in retaliation levelled the village, leaving only a bank, an Anglican church and the community health centre.