See reasons Bayelsa State Governor, Diri tells IG to withdraw special force in Bayelsa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has called on the lnspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to withdraw his special force from Nembe-Bassambiri in the Nembe Local Government Area.
He said rather than keeping the police special force in the community, the IG should take the security personnel to troubled states where residents were being maimed and killed frequently.
Diri made the call at the weekend when the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the state government to look into the communal crisis that rocked Nembe-Bassambiri presented its report to him at the Government House, Yenagoa.
The panel was instituted on August 15, 2023, six months after the crisis that erupted in the community on February 15 resulted in the deaths of three persons and destruction of property.
Diri said, “We all must put our hands together so that all parts of our state will be peaceful. Today, we almost have an occupying police force in Nembe-Bassambiri. A special force from the Inspector-General of Police has been there before and after last year’s governorship election.
“We are told that the force was there to bring peace and normalcy to Nembe. But Nembe was far from war before the special force arrived. I believe that there are other states in the country that need the services of the special force more than Nembe-Bassambiri today.
l call on the Inspector-General of Police to reconsider and ensure the posting of those special forces to very troubled states where lives are lost on a daily basis so that rather than being an occupying force in Nembe-Bassambiri, they will be of more help to Nigeria.”
While noting that the state government’s indefinite suspension of chiefs and the youth body in the community was still in force, he restated his call on the warring factions in the community to toe the path of peace.
He further said, “For any one life lost, it is important to us as a people. We assure you that we will look at your recommendations and implementation will be done to the letter.
Let me use this opportunity to call on my brothers in Nembe-Bassambiri that it is time for everybody to toe the path of peace. Peace is priceless. We cannot continuously be in a fratricidal war, fighting among ourselves. You can trust this government. What we want is lasting peace. With the calibre of people appointed into the committee, l am very sure that we will find the solution.”
The governor set up a five-man committee to review the report of the panel within two weeks and to advise him on its implementation.
The review committee is headed by Secretary to the State Government, Gideon Ekeuwei, with the acting Chief of Staff, Peter Akpe, the Head of Service, Biobelemoye Charles-Onyeama and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Legal Matters, Alabo Ozubide, as members.
Presenting the report, the panel’s secretary, Diepreye Omubo, explained that the committee was given 21 days to carry out its assignment but had to seek an extension which the governor granted.
Omubo, who spoke on behalf of the chairman of the panel, Justice Margaret Akpomiemie (retd.), said the task was concluded on September 29 last year.