Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has described the nation’s military as a treasured institution, that deserves the support of all Nigerians to enable it win the ongoing war against terrorism.
He particularly called on the political class to show patriotism by sinking their differences and rally round security agencies in protecting lives and property and the territorial integrity of the country.
Governor Dickson made the call, when he granted audience to the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) commander, Major General Emmanuel Atewe and Chief of Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, Major General Ebibowei Awala in Government House, Yenagoa.
He appealed to his colleagues (Governors) not to see the responsibility of supporting the military as the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government as the institution does not belong to any incumbent political leader.
His words “Let me say this to all Nigerians that our military deserves support, not vilification; our military deserves understanding and not attack. The military of this country is one of our treasured national institutions, and we must all work hard to give them support especially at times like this, when they are called upon in very difficult times and circumstances at the risk of life to offer services to keep us safe.
“I want to offer my personal appreciation, and with respect to the ongoing military, security and intelligence operations in some parts of this country, let me (again) associate myself with the call that all political, opinion, religious, business and all leaders of whatever description should unite in defence of our military and right to life of our people wherever they may be”.
He said, “In all countries and at all times, when nations face dangers and come under attack by a common enemy, political leaders sink their differences and come together to address that common problem. Let this not be different about Nigeria.”
Governor Dickson expressed gratitude to the JTF and other security agencies in the state for joining hands with his administration in the implementation of its policy of zero tolerance on crime, criminality and violence.
He particularly commended the officers for their selfless and dedicatedservices, and urged the military to intensify their efforts at clamping down on terrorism, sea piracy and illegal oil bunkering.
In their separate remarks, the JTF Commander, Major General Emmanuel Atewe and Chief of Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, Major General Ebibowei Awala expressed appreciation to Governor Dickson for what they described as outstanding support to security agencies.
Assuring the Governor of the JTF’s readiness to get rid of oil bunkering and other related vices, Major General Atewe attributed the current level of achievements recorded in the area by the special task force to the assistance it receives from the Bayelsa State Government.
“I want to once again thank you for providing an enabling environment in terms of resources and logistics to support the JTF to do what they are doing. If they have ever achieved anything, I think it’s because of the enabling environment provided by you that enables JTF to stand.
According to Major Gen. Awala, he was in the state to appraise the operations of the joint military taskforce with a view to ascertaining its challenges to enhance its capacity to combat oil theft and other crimes in the Niger Delta region.