Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Tuesday inaugurated a state security outfit to complement the efforts of other security outfits to reduce oil theft and related vices.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the outfit, known as the “Bayelsa State Volunteers,” has membership strength of 1000 youths.
The members, drawn from the eight local government areas, are to engage in community based intelligence gathering.
Inaugurating the group, Dickson enjoined them to work closely with the community leaders to forestall any security breach.
“You have to be particularly watchful and make sure that people do not use you to do things that you are not meant to do.
“You are to mobilise support for the government and work with the security agencies, you are to work with all constituted authorities in your communities.
“Where you suspect any imminent breach of peace, you are to alert the agencies and that is why your overall coordinator is a police officer.
“You are also going to ensure that the youths in this state are informed about what we are doing,” Dickson said.
According to him, the volunteers will engage in community-based intelligence gathering to aid security agencies in stemming criminal acts such as crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and piracy on waterways.
“In this state, we do not want to see cultism again that will make young people to be killing themselves on the streets of Yenagoa.
“Our policy of zero tolerance to criminality, violence and cultism stays,” he said.
Dickson cautioned that government would not condone acts capable of causing disaffection among the people and destabilising the state.
He further advised the youths not to allow themselves to be used to foment trouble, emphasising that government would take appropriate actions against any erring volunteer.
Dickson said that additional 100 graduates would be recruited to support efforts of the state volunteers.
In his acceptance speech, the Coordinator of the Volunteers, CSP Emmanuel Asufi, assured government of their readiness to work towards actualising the objectives of the scheme. NAN