Bayelsa legalises security outfits as Dickson signs bill
Bayelsa State has legalised all security outfits set up by the state government including its major state security establishment Operation Doo-Akpo.
The legal backing was following the decision of the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, to sign the Community Safety Corps Amendment Bill 2018 passed by the House of Assembly.
A statement on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah quoted the governor as expressing optimism that the new law would enable security agencies to carry out their operations more effectively in the state.
The Speaker of the assembly, Konbowei Benson, was quoted as describing the amended law as an embodiment of all security related laws passed by the state legislature.
Benson said the bill was given expeditious passage in line with the prevailing collaboration between the House and the state executive arm to improve the security situation in the state.
He said: ” The amendment became necessary because we have to bring in the element of Vigilante. And that is why we will not be doing vigilante law separate from the community Safety Corps.
“That means the new law is an embodiment of several security elements brought together to ensure that we have a very holistic and robust security outfit that will be able to take care of the security challenges in the state.”
The Majority Leader, Peter Akpe, reportedly explained that the House merged some of its earlier security legislations including the Community Safety Corps Law for easy implementation and to give legal backing to the state-owned security outfits.
He said the new law would not only strengthen the existing security architecture but also enable the state government to establish what he called the Community Safety and Vigilante Corps.
Akpe said: “There was a metamorphosis. It started as Education Safety Corps Law which was repealed. It became Community Safety Corps which is now the Community Safety Corps Amendment Law 2018.
‘We are interested in how the security architecture in the state could be strengthened looking at the importance of security which we all need not to overemphasise. We have the Vigilante Group and you are all aware of the good reports about it especially in recent times.
“We had the Operation Doo Akpo, a quick response squad, that was formed by the state government without a legislative backing. We also had the Education Safety Corps which was an intendment of government to have security hovering around the existing infrastructure and personnel in education.
“All these packaged together is what we had as the community Safety Corps Law, but the new one is an amendment to that which encompasses all these elements.
” So with this amendment, the Operation Doo Akpo and Vigilante now have a legislative backing. And for purposes of records and emphasis, the new law has no relationship with the Bayelsa Volunteers because that also has its own law.