In response to recent media reports, the Bayelsa State Government has clarified its stance on the cancellation of oil pipeline surveillance contracts, asserting that it did not call for the annulment of contracts awarded to private security firms by the federal government.
The clarification came after Deputy Governor Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo’s statement during Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla’s visit on Monday to Government House, Yenagoa. The government emphasized its unwavering position that the Nigerian Navy should be strengthened to address national security challenges and safeguard maritime assets.
Governor Douye Diri, addressing the issue in a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, on Tuesday, reiterated the state’s support for engaging non-state actors in oil pipeline surveillance. However, he emphasized the necessity of these actors being supervised by the country’s conventional security organs.
Governor Diri clarified that the government’s call for a review of the current surveillance arrangement is rooted in the belief that the inclusion of Niger Delta states in the process would enhance effectiveness and prevent potential security challenges. He highlighted the importance of avoiding situations where non-state actors take the law into their own hands in their operational areas.
The governor expressed concern that the existing arrangement, if not properly regulated, could lead to heightened security risks. He commended the dedication of security commanders and their personnel in Bayelsa, acknowledging their role in maintaining the state’s status as one of the most peaceful in the country.