As a measure to tackle insecurity in the state, the Bayelsa State Government says it will deal with traditional rulers who fail to open registers to profile visitors and non-indigenes engaged in business and other socio-economic activities in their domains.
The State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo handed down the warning at the second round of local government meetings with traditional rulers across the state, which began with Ekeremor Council Area in his office in Yenagoa.
A statement by the deputy governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, quoted him as saying that the state government had earlier directed the monarchs to carry out the profiling in its previous meetings with them, in which security was top on the agenda.
While making reference to a recent policy announcement by the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), Senator Ewhrudjakpo maintained that the issue of profiling had become compulsory in view of the current security situation in the country.
According to him, the situation whereby most communities in the state do not know the number and kinds of people carrying out all sorts of activities in their forests, farmlands and rivers was no longer acceptable to the government.
The deputy governor lamented that Bayelsans had left their traditional fishing and farming occupations to strangers, and reiterated on the need for the royal fathers to expedite action on the opening of registers and close monitoring of visitors in their various communities.
He also expressed concern about recent violent activities in some communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area due to unnecessary chieftaincy tussles and dispute over the chairmanship of cluster boards and community development committees.
The state number two man urged traditional rulers to reside in their communities as the custodians of peace and play a neutral role in the CDC and other community elections in order to earn and sustain the respect of their subjects.
His words: “We are going to follow-up our directive now. So you must cooperate with government to secure our communities because as you all know, security is a collective responsibility.
“Only last month, the National Security Adviser had written and announced that it is now compulsory for all traditional rulers in their communities to have a book to register visitors that come to their communities and what they have come to do.
“You can see that what we discussed at the last meeting was preemptive of that announcement and the action the Federal Government is taking now. It means we are on the right course”.
Making his own contribution, the new Commissioner of Police in the state Eworo Echeng, promised to strengthen community policing and urged community leaders and their people to provide useful intelligence to the police for prompt response and action.
In their separate remarks, the traditional ruler of Ekeremor Town, Agbodo Gbaseimo and the Regent of Oporomor Kingdom, Mitin Tamaramieyefa thanked the deputy governor for the meeting and pledged their preparedness to comply with the directive on profiling and other programmes to promote security in their domains.