2019: Why Bayelsans Fear Crime May Increase Before Election
"It’s impossible to cover someone's nose and at the same time, force him to breath."
This is the security situation in Bayelsa State, after the former Inspector General of Police took a decision that affected the security structure.
The increasing rate of crime in Bayelsa State has continued to worry residents and their situation has been made worse by the dismantling of a responsive security outfit in the state tagged 'Operation Doo-Akpo'.
Just like other states have police officials designated for a specific duty aimed at ensuring that the state is safe, Bayelsa State had officials of the Nigeria Police Force who parade the streets and different communities in vehicles branded for their operations.
The Doo-Akpo operated in the state and were helping to reduce crime rate. But the Federal Government allegedly decided to dismantle the outfit.
Now, residents of Bayelsa are apprehensive over the decision and they fear the state would have so much crime to handle.
evacuation of the federal police, 'Operation Doo-Akpo' from the streets
of Yenagoa, on the orders of the immediate past Inspector General of police,
Mr Ibrahim Idris, gave criminals within and outside the state an opportunity to
cash into the vacuum created by the order.
The disbandment which took place in October 2018, some residents believe had a political undertone centred around the forthcoming general elections.
This disposition might not be far fetched when carefully considered that the police high command at the federal level had been busy posting, re-posting and redeploying to officials.
At the beginning of his tenure, Governor Seriake Dickson made a vow that his administration would not condole crime and criminality in the state.
He established Doo-Akpo security outfit immediately he took over office in 2012, in other to secure the state against criminals.
It was commissioned to make a difference, respond swiftly to those in need of help and rid the state of crime and criminality.
The security outfit effectively carried out its duties.
Armed robbery, inter-cult war, kidnapping and street crimes reduced drastically. Then on February 12, 2014 came the cultism and offences related law, which also enshrined in the law an elongated prison terms upon conviction.
Some analysts believed that the dismantling of the security outfit was a ploy from the Federal Government to deny the state government the opportunity to control the police and other security operators during the elections.
A retired police officer, Mr Darlington Souyo, said that the attitude of federal authorities toward policing in Bayelsa state was suspicious.
"The Federal Government knew the importance of security in a state, but decided to remove it and expose it's citizens to danger.
"It’s impossible to cover someone's nose and at the same time, force him to breath," he said, emphasising that the disbandment of the police was the reason for the upsurge in crime.
A politician, Dr Frederick Songo, told Bounce News that "we have noticed that the Federal Government is about to sacrifice Bayelsans on the altar of politics.
"Now, we understand why we have experienced so many killings, theft and other crimes within a short period since the removal of Doo-Akpo".
He said the state had resorted to relying on the services of the local vigilante men for security.
When contacted, the police spokesman in the state, Mr Asinim Butswat, however, said they have not received any report about the security outfit dismantling.
"The disbandment of Doo-Akpo has not been made official.
"We are yet to receive an official report or directive concerning the disbandment," he said.
There may be no official report as to the disbandment, but the officials drawn from the police force are no longer moving about with their vehicles.
Mr Butswat could not also tell if Doo-Akpo would be replaced or not.
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