The Bayelsa State legislators insisted that before an operation of such magnitude is carried out, protocol demands that the Governor be informed, especially given that there was no imminent threat to national security.
The Bayelsa State caucus of the House of Representatives has condemned in the strongest terms, the recent invasion of the Opu-Nembe community of Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State by officials of the Nigerian Police Force SWAT department.
The lawmakers led by Rep. Marie Eneniemete Ebikake (PDP, Bayelsa), while addressing the press on Monday, in Abuja, said the development has resulted in deaths and destruction of properties.
Ebikake said, “We want to in the strongest terms condemn the killing and maiming of innocent citizens in Opu-Nembe in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state acting on the behest of individuals bent on destroying the existing peace with the invasion of Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) by men of the Nigerian Police Force (SWAT) in a Gestapo fashion.”
She further opined that the crisis is politically motivated and aimed at destroying the relative peace and prosperity that has been restored by the administration of Governor Duoye Diri.
“What happened at Opu-Nembe Community on the 12th of August, 2023 is politically motivated and targeted at destroying the peace that the prosperity administration led by His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri has brought to Bayelsa state which is enjoyed by all.
“We want to use this opportunity to call on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Bola Ahmed Tinubu to as a matter of urgency, constitute a high-powered commission of inquiry on the immediate and remote causes including the role of the Nigeria Police, particularly the SWAT department, their source of funding and other individuals who played roles in the armed invasion to ensure the perpetrators are fished out and made to face the wrath of the law.
“This will not only act as a deterrent but also send a message to individuals with selfish agenda not to tarnish the image of your government and the democratic reputation you have brought into governance.
“We wish to commend the immediate response of the Bayelsa state government led by His Excellency Senator Douye Diri to the crisis and the effort to dilute the tension in the affected community.”
They equally frowned at a situation where officers are sent on a sting operation to the state without regard to the role of the governor as the chief security officer of the state.
The legislators insisted that protocol demands that the Governor be informed before an operation of such magnitude was carried out as there was no imminent threat to National security in the state.
“May we, also, remind the IGP that a ‘sting’ operation of such nature carried out in total disregard of existing protocols, with regards to the role of the executive governor as the chief security officer of the state, within his domain, in the clear absence of imminent threat to national security is not only a threat to our democracy but raises questions of the presence of the Joint Security Task Force stationed in the community over the years,” the lawmaker stated.
A member of the caucus, Rep. Fred Agbedi (PDP, Bayelsa), further stated that ”fishing out the perpetrators and dealing with them decisively will not only serve as deterrent to others but, will also send a message to those with the selfish agenda of tarnishing the image of the Government of Bayelsa state and the democratic reputation that has been brought into governance.”