Disturbed by the rising cases of crude oil theft adversely affecting revenues accruing to Bayelsa State from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, in recent times, Governor Seriake Dickson has initiated drastic measures to nip the criminal activity in the bud.
Accordingly, Governor Dickson has recruited 1,000 youths into the Bayelsa Volunteers, who are spread across the communities in addition to 100 graduate youths to serve as officers of the outfit.
Members of the volunteers are to be headed by a state coordinator, who is a serving police officer, Chief Superintendent of Police, Emmanuel Asufi Idowu, a State Secretary and deputy coordinators to take charge of the three senatorial districts of the state, while other leaders are to be in charge of each of the 8 local government areas.
The Governor, who expressed serious concern over the menace of oil bunkering and illegal oil refineries, said the state volunteers would be working closely with the security agencies in the day to day performance of their duties.
He lamented that crude oil theft has assumed alarming proportions, particularly in 4 local government areas, which has made the state’s earnings to drop by about 40 per cent.
His words: “Those people, who are still doing bunkering and distorting our allocations, will be treated as enemies of our state. This nonsense that has been going on must stop. The Security Council of this state under my chairmanship is working out a containment policy and what we are doing today, is in furtherance of that decision of the Security Council. All the security heads have agreed that the state volunteers’ body be set up.
“You can see all the works that we are doing; it is money that is needed to see that we complete them. And, because of the massive oil theft, we know what we are suffering. Today, our earnings have dropped close to about 40 per cent. It is because of the way we are managing the economy of the state that projects are still going on.
“The way the finances of this country are structured in such a way that, no state can get more than what it deserves. They share the revenue, according to your percentage of oil production irrespective of who is the leader of this country.
Governor Dickson also mandated the state volunteer out to sensitize the people, especially the youths on the dangers of illegal refinery, pipeline vandalism and other related vices on the environment as well as the economy.
The Governor, who expressed his administration’s commitment to the sustenance of peace and stability in the state, enjoined the volunteers to check the activities of cultists and put a stop to what he referred to as “mindless killings” on the streets of Yenagoa.
“In this state, we don’t want to see cultism again that will bring young people to be killing themselves on the streets of Yenagoa. Our policy of zero tolerance to criminality, violence and cultism still stands.
“And let me make it clear that, anybody who wants to use the youths of this state to foment crises, whether it is by way of mindless killings in the name of cult supremacy, that is aimed at destabilizing this state and returning it back to those dark old days, I have the constitutional mandate to ensure that appropriate measures are taken in accordance with the law.”