The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has inaugurated a former militant leader, Mr. Africanus Ukparasia, popularly known as General Africa, as the Chairman of the state Waterway Security Taskforce.
The appointment of the ex-militant leader is part of the government’s new strategies to end the cases of militancy, pipeline vandalism, sea piracy, kidnappings and other criminal activities along the waterways and creeks of the state.
At the inauguration, which took place at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Yenagoa, Dickson mandated the task force to provide security agencies with required intelligence to deal with criminals.
Ukparasia assured the government of adequate security and intelligence gathering along the waterways as part of the measures to tackle crime in the state.
He vowed that criminals would no longer be allowed to take over the waterways to kill innocent people and subject travelers and traders to horrible experiences.
He warned pirates and other criminals operating in the state to leave the creeks or face tough times.
Ukparasia said the war against maritime criminals would be won with effective collaboration between the task force and the security operatives.
He also called on people in various communities to report any criminal activity or suspicious characters in their areas to the relevant security agencies.
According to him, as soon as the task force begins full operation, its contacts will be unveiled to the public for ease of communication.
The ex-militant leader assured the Federal Government of his avowed determination to bring about peace and stability in the Niger Delta region.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to open up the region with roads and bridges to connect the hinterlands to the cities to solve problems associated with transportation.