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Governor Dickson to Amend Bayelsa Criminal Code, Warns Against Ransom to Kidnappers


YENAGOA, BAYELSA STATE (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Bayelsa state governor, Henry Seriake Dickson on Friday in Yenagoa, read a Riot Act to criminals with a stern warning that Bayelsans should not succumb to the pressure and blackmail of paying ransom to kidnappers.

The governor also stated that kidnappers were collaborating with some media outfits to secure payment of ransom and urged the people not to succumb to the pressure of payment of ransom in the event of any abduction.

“Whether they are living in Yenagoa or Abuja; or whether they are traditional rulers or APC or PDP, we will go after them at the right time. And I want to use this opportunity to call on media outfits not to allow themselves to be used to propagate crime and criminality. We are witnessing a trend in Bayelsa where people kidnap and the media will now be used to put pressure for ransom to be paid. No ransom payment in this state”, he said.

The governor who spoke with journalists also revealed that plans were underway to amend the existing state criminal code to stem the tide of crime.

While insisting that his administration was committed to zero tolerance for crime and criminality, he warned those who indulge in acts of violence and other criminal activities to have a change of heart.

Speaking on the spate of kidnappings in the state, Dickson stressed that “security was undermined following the electoral violence that trailed the last governorship election.”

He added that government “has already started unveiling its comprehensive strategy of returning Bayelsa to its days of peace.”

According to him, the recent ban on the use of 200 horsepower engine boats is one of the measures being put in place to check the incidence of kidnapping, sea piracy and other criminal acts on the state’s waterways.

Dickson who assured the people of the state of government’s commitment to rid the state of kidnapping, pipeline vandalization, warned youths in some communities who perpetrate violent activities in the name of politics to desist forthwith as anyone caught breaching the peace would be brought to justice.

He said, “For now, security personnel will only use such boats because those are the boats that kidnappers use. Kidnapping is on the rise, which is a fall out of the deliberate compromise of our security. Let me assure Bayelsans that by the time we invigorate our security programme and make more investments, all the criminals will leave Bayelsa again for their own good.

“I am determined to ensure there are no more cases of kidnapping and pipeline vandalization and violence in Bayelsa. We met a situation that was worse; cult related violence but we managed to put the situation under control.

“I want to use this opportunity to call on all Bayelsans to go about their lawful businesses; we are on top of the situation. We know those who are kidnapping and their sponsors and sacking communities and destroying houses. We have all their records. They have had their day; we are waiting for the law to have its day and the law will surely catch up with each and every one of them.”


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