The Bayelsa State Government has restated its determination to deal decisively with any individual or group found culpable of fomenting trouble in communities in a quest for superiority.
The government decried the recurring power tussle in some communities and condemned the killing of Mr. Frank Seide of Bilabiri Two Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area by criminal elements some few days ago.
Speaking at separate meetings with representatives of Bilabiri communities in Ekeremor and Ogboinbiri Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area on Sunday, the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, expressed displeasure over the acrimonious manner people jostled for community leadership.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Doubara Atasi, Senator Ewhrudjakpo, noted that reports of rising insecurity in Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw mainly due to community elections did not speak well of the two areas.
The Deputy Governor, therefore, urged stakeholders of the councils to work closely with the state government to bring under control what he described as an embarrassing and worrisome situation.
Commenting further on the killing of Mr. Seide, Senator Ewhrudjakpo, vowed that the government would do all within its powers to bring those who perpetrated the dastardly act to justice to serve as deterrent to other criminals.
To this end, he called on security agencies to expedite action on the arrest, proper investigation and prosecution of all those responsible for the heinous crime.
The Deputy Governor, who asserted that illegality could not be used to right any wrong, noted that the fact that anyone breached the law was an unjustifiable reason to take his life without any sentence from a court of competent jurisdiction.
On the Ogboinbiri Community Development Committee (CDC) chairmanship issue, Ewhrudjakpo advised the two parties to reconcile their differences in the interest and greater good of the community.
He said although the matter was now in court, the government would do everything within its reach to ensure its amicable settlement for law and order to prevail.
The Deputy Governor, however, challenged Bayelsa youth not to limit themselves to the confines of their respective communities; they should rather develop themselves intellectually and with entrepreneurial skills to compete favourably with their peers elsewhere.
He also urged them to be law abiding and assured that the present administration would stop at nothing in its bid to create an enabling environment for sustainable prosperity and development in the state
His words: “The state government is disturbed about the kind of reports we are getting concerning communities in Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas. The do-or-die attitude with which they struggle for either CDC or chieftaincy position is really disheartening.
“I’m not saying we don’t have such issues in other areas. But the truth is that we have preponderance of it from Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw. And I think it should be a thing of concern to every well-meaning stakeholder in these areas.
“They should work hand in hand with the government to bring this embarrassing situation under control because it does not paint a good image about us in any way.
“On the killing of Frank Seide, we are determined to take the right steps to bring those responsible for this heinous crime to justice. We are a government and we will not allow people to take laws into their hands.
“Whether it is connected to surveillance contracts or CDC Chairman, there are courts to channel your grievances.
“You don’t take somebody’s life all because his tenure was allegedly (unilaterally) extended by the paramount ruler. I don’t think somebody breaching the law is sufficient reason to take his life without a court sentence.”
Speaking earlier, Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Mike Ogbere, and the Paramount Ruler of Bilabiri 2 Community, Chief Minna Amotete, both appreciated the state government for showing concern on the indigenes welfare and called for the deployment of security operatives in the community.
On his part, the Member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 4 in the State House of Assembly, Chief MacDonald Igbadiwe, advocated for a legislation to regulate the CDC system, which he noted would go a long way in addressing conflicts in most of the communities.
In their separate submissions, the Chairman of the Southern Ijaw Council, Chief Nigeria Kia, and his Ekeremor counterpart, Hon. Bertola Perekeme, recounted their efforts at maintaining peace and stability in their areas and called for assistance from other quarters.
The Ibenanaowei of Apoi Clan, King Ikpangi Perekebina, and the Vice Chairman of Ogboinbiri Council of Chiefs, Chief Nicodemus Edugo were among those who made submissions at the meeting where the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mike Okoli, was represented by one of his deputies, DCP Ogundare Dare.