The Bayelsa State Government has vowed to reward youth leaders who work with security authorities to rid their areas of cultists and drug dealers.
Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the state’s Deputy Governor, made the commitment at separate meetings with youth leaders from the state’s Southern Ijaw and Sagbama local government areas.
In a statement released on Monday, Ewhrudjakpo stated that substance abuse, cultism, and criminality all had a common link, emphasizing that the Governor Duoye Diri government in the state would leave no stone unturned in its efforts to decrease crime to the bare minimum.
He urged youths and community leaders to follow in the footsteps of Imiringi town in the state’s Ogbia Local Government Area, which recently invited and assisted security agents to cleanse their communities of drug dealers and criminals terrorizing the region.
He urged the young to work with the government to combat abduction and other criminal acts, as well as not to allow illegal crude oil processing, also known as “Kpo fire,” in their districts.
The deputy governor stated, “I told the youth of the Ekeremor and Kolokuma/Opokuma LGAs the other day, and I’m repeating it today, that any youth president that makes his community free of the crime of cultism and drug abuse will have an award from my office.
“This is one way we can use to encourage you to be part of the fight against crime. We have to fight to protect the future of our state.
“Those who are into criminal activities are few in any society. So, why must we allow them to hold all of us to ransom? This government will not allow that. We are determined to do everything within our reach to flush them out from our communities.”
The service commanders, including Ben Okolo, Commissioner of Police; Bashir Oladosu, Area Commandant of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; and Femi Akin, State Director, Department of State Security, urged the youth to cooperate with security forces in the interest of peace and development.
Clever Inodu, the Chairman of the Ijaw Youth Council’s Central Zone, urged Bayelsa’s youth to take a firm stance against electoral violence, damage of government property, and other crimes in their areas.