Bayelsa Blames Insecurity on Frequent Change of Police Chiefs

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government yesterday expressed anger over the alleged politicisation of security in the state by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson made the comment after the 99th State Executive Council meeting, insisting that the development was fuelling insecurity and recent killings in the state.

Markson alleged that the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson was convinced that the state’s former governor, Mr. Timipre Sylva and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri were culpable in the latest development.

According to him, both politicians and the APC had in separate statements denied complicity in the rampant deployment of the police commissioners, asking the governor to concentrate on governance rather than making ‘ baseless allegations.

Markson, however, noted that the state government would seek legal redress “to defend the authority of the government of the state. We condemn in strong terms the worsening security situation in the state occasioned by the frequent change of police commissioners ostensibly for political reasons.

“The erratic deployment of security operatives across the country, mainly in states controlled by opposition parties calls for serious concern and demands the need for urgent action to address the situation. At least, eight commissioners of polices in the last three months.

As a government, the commissioner said the state government viewed the action as highly subversive, capable of threatening the existing peaceful and harmonious environment that the government has worked hard to put in place.

He said politicising security in the state by handing it over to both Sylva and Lokpobiri and using their closeness to power in Abuja to undermine the peace of the state bordered on treason.

Accordingly, the commissioner said it would not allow anybody rubbish the state-owned security outfit, no matter how highly placed.

“The exploitation of state security apparatus to harass and intimidate perceived political opponents is not healthy for the state. It is simply a display of excessive use of political power which will be challenged by our government.

“We hereby call on the federal government to respect the authority of the state government and refrain from doing anything that will jeopardise the peace, order and stability of the state.”