By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa – The Bayelsa Government on Friday solicited the support of the citizens for the current efforts to curb the rising menace of cultism in the state.
Dr Boma-Spero Jack, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, made the call via a statement in Yenagoa.
Jack expressed concern about the increasing cases of cultism, armed robbery and other related crimes, particularly in Yenagoa and its environs.
He condemned the recent killing of Miss Seiyefa Fred, a 16-year-old 100 level student of Niger Delta University, by suspected cultists in the Amarata neighbourhood of Yenagoa.
Sympathising with the families of the deceased, the security adviser expressed the government’s commitment to putting in place adequate security measures to safeguard the people’s lives and property.
He urged the members of the public to see security as a communal activity which involved the input of all the citizens, the police and other security operatives.
He added that the citizens should always provide useful information that would facilitate efforts to safeguard the society.
Jack, who attributed the current wave of crime in the state to cultism and use of hard drugs by youths, assured the citizens of the government’s plans to improve the security architecture of the state.
According to him, the government is particularly collaborating with the state special security outfit, tagged “Operation Doo-Akpo’’, to effectively combat crime and criminality in the state.
He said that the government was committed to putting in place more crime-prevention machinery, in partnership with the police and other security agencies.
Jack, however, called on law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to take advantage of the state’s anti-cultism laws, which gave them the right to detain suspects for up to 60 days during investigations.
“In an effort to eradicate cultism and other related vices, the judiciary and prosecuting agencies must work hand-in-hand to assist government through speedy dispensation of justice,’’ he said.
He urged members of the public to always call 07006464644 — the special dedicated phone line of “Operation Doo-Akpo’’ — whenever they were in distress so as to provoke quick response.
Jack criticised community leaders and other personalities who were fond of defending and pleading for apprehended criminal suspects, adding that they should desist from such acts and allow the law to run its course.
He bemoaned the frequent redeployment of police commissioners to the state, saying that it was one of the causal factors behind the current security situation in the state.