Owing to the growing insecurity in Yenagoa and its environs, the Bayelsa State Government has said it is putting measures in place to re-launch its quick response security outfit codenamed: ‘Operation Doo Akpo’, in order to put a stop to kidnapping, armed robbery and other crime.
Governor Seriake Dickson stated this on Wednesday while inaugurating the Coordinator of the State Community Safety Corps, Mr Agberebi Akpoebi, at the Government House in Yenagoa.
The residents of the state, especially those in Yenagoa, have been living in palpable fear as cultists and armed robbers have laid siege to the metropolis in the last two months.
The armed robbers operate both in broad daylight and in the night, using commercial tricycles, popular known as Keke NAPEP, to rob residents at gunpoint.
On Wednesday, a four-man gang of armed robbers attacked two supermarkets on the popular Imgbi Road, carting away goods and cash worth several millions of naira.
The robbers, in their teens, shot indiscriminately in order to scare away passersby and customers while dispossessing the shop owners of their cash and goods.
Lawyers in the state had last week took to the streets in protest over the lingering insecurity in the state, pleading with security agencies and the state government to quickly do something about it.
Dickson charged the newly-inaugurated Community Safety Corps coordinator to properly manage all the activities of community-based security outfits such as the Bayelsa Vigilante and Waterways Safety Corps.
He also urged the coordinator to oversee the activities of the reorganised Operation Doo Akpo with a view to supporting other security agencies to improve on the prevailing peace and stability in the state.
Dickson expressed gratitude to all security agencies in the state, including the operatives of Doo Akpo, for working hard to earn and retain the confidence of the people.
The governor said, “I have just assented to the amendment bill creating the Community Safety Corps that will coordinate all the activities of our vigilante, Waterways Safety Corps and other such groups existing in this state.
“With this amendment, the Operation Doo Akpo is now a part of the department that you will have oversight on. The Doo Akpo will be reorganised and its officers will be drawn from all uniformed services as a quick response team.
“We will give them more facilities like vehicles. We are going to even launch a motorcycle patrol team that will be in every nook and cranny of the state, especially our state capital, to deal with urban banditry, cultism and related vices.
“The security chiefs have been sitting with me and planning with me the reorganisation of the Doo Akpo and by next week, we will have cause to formally re-present the Doo Akpo to you all in a more reinvigorated manner.”
In his response, Akpoebi thanked the governor for his appointment and subsequent inauguration.
Akpoebi, who is a retired Commissioner of Police, assured the government and people of the state that he would use his experience and training while partnering other security agencies to ensure a safer Bayelsa State.