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We値l smoke out militants -Bayelsa Volunteers

Posted by From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa on 2008/06/30 | Views: 2397 |

We値l smoke out militants -Bayelsa Volunteers


This is not the best of times for security agents in the Niger Delta, as militants and criminals masquerading as freedom fighters are on rampage in an attempt to bring the Federal Government and oil companies to their knees.

This is not the best of times for security agents in the Niger Delta, as militants and criminals masquerading as freedom fighters are on rampage in an attempt to bring the Federal Government and oil companies to their knees.

But for the Bayelsa Volunteers, a security outfit established by the Bayelsa State Government in 2001, militancy and criminality can be tamed for people of the region to live without having to fear for their lives.

The Coordinator of the Bayelsa Volunteers, Mr. Israel Sunny Goli, in an interview with Saturday Sun said he believes that with the restructuring of the outfit which is ongoing, militancy and criminality would be a thing of the past. Goli who says he knows he is embarking on a dangerous mission however says he has the backing of God who is the only person capable of protecting him.

According to him when he took over at the security outfit, it was not functional, as they did not even have an office, while morale was low among the volunteers.
He said with the on-going restructuring in the outfit, Bayelsans especially those living along the waterways would have cause to smile that criminals can be kept at bay.


What we did
When I came into office, what I did was to call the coordinators and charge them to motivate the volunteers to work effectively. Thereafter we proposed a programme that would make the outfit more functional. Soonest we are coming up with a new volunteer that would be dedicated to service delivery so that Bayelsans would know that the money spent on the volunteer force is worth spending. I want to assure you that when we come out with the new volunteer, they would be more efficient and effective towards service delivery.


Challenges
The major problem we are facing is ghost volunteers. This is because in all our activities, it has always been regular faces which means what we have in our books is not exactly what is obtainable in the field. This is the major reason we are saying we want to restructure to make it more effective and efficient and that is what we are doing now.

It is universal in every organization that when a person comes on board there would be changes. Governor Timipre Sylva also faced similar problems when he came and tried to introduce some reforms, there was stiff opposition but he stood his ground. I don稚 expect anything less from what I am doing. But I believe that when I finish with the reforms now, the outfit would be better than what it is and the people of the state would appreciate what we are doing.


How Far we can go
There is no way that you can wipe out crime in a society because even in the advanced countries like Britain and America there is crime. But to an extent, if we have the volunteers in various communities, before any crime is committed, we would have heard and passed the information to the security agencies for necessary action. I believe if volunteer are working as expected definitely crime rate and militancy would be greatly reduced.

Volunteers are made of people from Bayelsa and some of these militants or criminals are also from Bayelsa. So if something happens in community A, the volunteers should be able to tell us how it happened and those involved. For instance, to tell you that the volunteer we inherited was not efficient; how can volunteers in the village of the deputy-governor tell me they don稚 know when his father was kidnapped and those behind it? I had to dispatch some people from Yenagoa before we had a headway. If the volunteers are in their locality, you would be surprised that criminality and militancy would be reduced to the level people would appreciate.

To achieve our objective the first strategy we adopted was to verify each applicant in his local government headquarters and when accepted as a volunteer he is posted to a duty post. Our camp would be established in the various local governments and register would be given out so that on daily basis people would go and sign attendance so that at the end of the month it would form the basis for payment of salaries.

Bayelsa Govt is sincere

There was summit where militants had a peace agreement with the Bayelsa state government. A challenge was thrown to the government that the militants have signed an agreement and that it remains for the government to show that it is willing to abide with the agreement. Governor Timipre Sylva since then has made progressive moves to keep to his agreement. Bayelsans are in various parts of the world undergoing training.

Over 200 youths are in India for computer studies. People we thought cannot do anything are doing wonderfully well. Some were sent to USA for pilot training and they are doing well, some are preparing to go to Norway for marine training. These are positive steps to make the youths useful to the society and ambassadors of peace.


I fear not
I am a Bayelsan and I have accepted to work for the government and the people of this state. I expect the good the bad and the ugly. I don稚 expect it to be rosy. So whatever challenges I am ready for them. The work is dangerous but with God on my side and conscious that I am doing what is good for our people, God would be my protector.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown