Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, cautioned the new commander of the federal government security outfit in the Niger Delta, code named, “Operation Delta Safe” to be professional in addressing security challenges in the region.
A statement issued in Yenagoa by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the governor issued the warning when he received the new Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie.
He emphasised the need for the law enforcement agents to be neutral in dealing with criminal activities.
While commending the federal government for retaining the headquarters of the “Operation Delta Safe” in Bayelsa, Dickson said, the operations of the security outfit, especially its maritime component, has a crucial role to play, as the state is predominantly riverine in nature.
Dickson, who expressed confidence in the ability of the officers and men of the new command, called for non-interference in their activities in the interest of national peace and stability, because of the strategic position the Niger delta occupies in the country.
On its part, he said the state government would continue to support security agencies in the fight against criminality and brigandage such as kidnapping, piracy and the wilful destruction of strategic national assets, with its attendant degradation of the environment.
Paying tribute to all the commanders of the defunct Operation Pulo shield for their contributions to the peace in the Niger Delta region, Dickson said dialogue remains the best option to resolving the security issues in the area.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commander of the Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie had said the federal government deemed it necessary to re-engineer the security outfit as part of efforts to tackle insecurity effectively in the country.
According to Rear Admiral Okojie, the task of achieving enduring peace and stability, remains a joint effort involving the governments, community leaders and other stakeholders of the affected states, particularly in the maritime areas covered by its mandate.
The new Commander, who resumed duty on the 26th of this month, noted that the outfit would adopt a holistic approach in maintaining law and order rather than use brute force.
He, however, warned criminal minded individuals to steer clear of the region as the Operation Delta Safe has acquired adequate resources to deal decisively with those who are bent on sabotaging the government’s efforts towards promoting economic growth and prosperity.