By Kalada Jumbo
In a major move to improve the security of lives and property across Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Friday launched a new Rivers State Security outfit code-named Operation Sting.
He said Operation Sting will be fully funded by the Rivers State Government with the aim of tackling criminal elements and reducing crime and criminality in all parts of the state.
He said: “OPERATION STING” issued therefore, our own specialized and dedicatedly security initiative anchored on an integrated and complementary approach, fully funded by the Rivers State Government to effectively tackle both the sources and drivers of insecurity in their diverse criminal manifestations and operations and nib them in their buds or rout and root them out of existence.
“Under Operation Sting we have taking concrete stepsto strengthen the logistics and operational capability of the civil and armed security forces”.
Governor Wike said to ensure that the new security outfit responds effectively across the state, his administration provided the right logistics and equipment.
He said: “76patrol/operational vehicles fitted with communication gadgets;
· 8armoured fitted gunboats, to tighten coastal security and protect our waterways from the activities of criminals;
· 2Armoured Personnel Carriers for Policeswift responses actions;
· 450 hand-held mobile radios to enhance communication among the security operatives and overcome the current wide gaps in intelligence gathering”.
The Governor said that the State Government has established operational bases in all the 23 Local Government Areas to strengthen the command and control structures of the initiative and ensure effective coordination and synergy between the State headquarters, the Local Government Areas and the communities to achieve the common objectives of providing comprehensive security cover for the our State.
He said “To achieve quick, timely and effective response we have established 30 toll free emergency call centres with capacity to support and transmit 30 concurrent calls from the public during distress situations and or during ongoing criminal activities in or around our neighbourhoods”.
Governor Wike said the operationalization of Operation Sting across the State is also expected to increase citizens’ awareness and make the public to be more alive to the dangers of insecurity and their responsibility to be part of the present crusade to stamp this menace from the State .
While appreciating the officers and men who will participate in the new security architecture, the governor said that the State Government has set up a fund to cater for their families, should they suffer any mishap in the course of service.
He acknowledged that the state has faced major security challenges in the area of kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery and community conflicts. He said that the state is not yet as peaceful as the administration desires, hence the renewed effort to stamp criminality.
He said: “It is this spirit that has led us to come to terms with the fact that insecurity, irrespective of the level of manifestation, whether big or small, violent or otherwise, is an insidious threat to our individual and collective development and prosperity.
“This being so, it is has become rather compelling for us to bring all elements of State power, Federal, State and Local, to bear against every security threat to our State, our persons and our property, including those posed by pastoral conflicts and kidnappers, in order to create and sustain the right social environment to drive our development.”Governor Wike specifically assured riverine communities that his administration will ensure their safety. He said that Operation Sting has been mandated to work on security in the waterways.
In his remarks, Garrison Commander of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Adeola Kalejaiye said that the armed forces will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the security of lives and property in Rivers State.
He said that Operation Sting will act on all credible information from members of the public to ensure that the any form of insecurity is handled.
Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura said that the objective of Operation Sting is to get rid of criminals and reduce crime to the barest minimum.
The Commissioner of Police assured Rivers people that the logistics provided by Governor Wike would be used to fight insecurity in the state. He said in the next one month, the improvement of security will be noticed.
Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo said that Operation Sting is an initiative of Governor Wike to promote security in the state. He said Operation Sting is another strategy by the Rivers State Governor to enhance the security of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amayanabo of Opobo, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja expressed happiness that Governor Wike has always given priority to the security of lives and property.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the Advance Drill by mobile policemen.