Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has stressed the importance of security in order to deliver good governance to the people.
Governor Diri said this necessitated the commitment and support of his administration to efforts by security agencies to promote security in the state.
Speaking during the flag-off of Exercise Still Waters III by the Nigerian Army at Otuokpoti in Ogbia Local Government Area, the Bayelsa governor said since assuming office, his administration has given priority to the security of lives and property, as it is the essence of good governance.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that the operation was a welcome development at a time when the country was approaching the yuletide and Bayelsa was preparing for an off-cycle governorship election.
He appreciated the efforts of the military in reducing crime and criminality in the state and urged them to continue to be proactive and collaborate with the state government to keep Bayelsa peaceful.
Diri said the success of previous exercises contributed to the peaceful yuletide period in the state and commended the Chief of Army Staff for sustaining the exercise while expressing optimism that this year’s operation will be more successful.
His words: “In our state, and as we all know, we are in a period called the ember months, which attract criminal activities. So it is necessary to put in place the machinery to check criminal activities, as well as, more importantly, for the governorship election.
“Since assuming office, I have given priority to the security of our people, and this is the essence of good governance. I have ensured that our people sleep with their two eyes closed. And I appreciate the sacrifices and commitment of our gallant forces, which have helped reduce crime in our state.
“As a government, we commend the officers and men for their commitment to duty and conducting this important military exercise, which covers the entire state. We will collaborate with the 16th Brigade to promote peace and security.”
Earlier, the Commander of the 16th Brigade, Bayelsa State, Brigadier General Sabisu Yakassai, said the location was selected after considering many factors, saying the exercise was designed to cover all areas of security concerns in Bayelsa and that it involves all stakeholders within the security architecture in the state.
He said the exercise was aimed at checking criminal activities such as pipeline vandalism, cultism, illegal oil refining, and kidnapping, among others, as well as preparing troops for the November 11 governorship election in the state.
In his remarks, General Officer Commanding 6th Division, Major General Jamil Abdusalam, said Exercise Still Waters 3 will also focus on key aspects of cyber warfare with a view to counter negative propaganda in the social media space and address other challenges experienced during the end of the year.
He said personnel of the Nigerian Army were ready to pay the supreme price for the peace and security of Nigeria and commended commanders from other security formations for their participation and support in efforts geared toward maintaining peace and security.
The event featured gunboat displays, highlighting the readiness of the military to tackle any security threat.