Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, yesterday received 10 expatriates that were rescued by security agencies in the state from the den of kidnappers.
The foreign sailors were kidnapped on November 25 from their vessel along the Pennington River in neighbouring Delta State and brought into Bayelsa.
The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement listed the victims as three Lebanese, four Indians, two Egyptians and one Cameronian.
An official of the Department of State Services (DSS), who presented the freed vessel workers to Governor Diri at the Government House in Yenagoa, said it took the concerted effort of security personnel in both Bayelsa and Delta states to rescue them.
While addressing the media, Senator Diri called on those responsible for such criminal acts to turn a new leaf, stating that kidnapping was not a business.
The governor, who thanked God for the safe return of the victims, said his government was working very hard to rid the state of kidnappers.
He equally thanked the security operatives for their professionalism in the rescue operation, especially when he got the information that the victims were being held in the state.
His words: “I thank God for the safe return of all of you, particularly as nobody was hurt and you all came back alive.
“I also use this medium to thank the security agencies for being very professional. From when we were informed of the kidnap, the security agencies were on their toes, particularly when we were told that though your kidnap did not take place in Bayelsa, you had been brought into the state. The security operatives went into full gear to locate where you were and to finally ensure your smooth release.
“I therefore commend the DSS, the Police, the Army, Navy and all other security agencies in Bayelsa that synergised with the state government to ensure zero tolerance for kidnapping in Bayelsa.
“Let me use this medium to advise our young ones that kidnapping is not a business and that it is time to listen to the voice of reasoning that we are ready to receive them back to society and rehabilitate them to be useful to themselves.”
The governor emphasised that his administration was working round the clock to ensure zero tolerance for crime and criminality in the state.
The governor assured them of safety as they return to their business and urged them to speak well of Bayelsa and how the government facilitated their release.
He also assured foreign nationals not to be deterred by such acts as the state is hospitable and open for foreign investors to be part of the prosperity story of his administration.