Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, at the weekend implored youths to be wary of criminals and cultists masquerading as politicians in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Dickson said that the sole motivation of such unscrupulous characters was to destabilize and subvert the achievements of his administration in the past seven years.
Speaking at a media chat in Yenagoa, the governor advised politicians not to overheat the polity in their campaigns insisting that people should be free to campaign and vote candidates of their choice.
He said Bayelsa was one of the safest and most stable in the country as a result of the huge investments his administration made in the security sector of the state.
He also urged parents and guardians to be committed in monitoring and observing the behaviour and activities of their children as the government intensified the campaign against the scourge of cultism and drug abuse.
The governor commended the security services for their determination and commitment to the safety and well-being of the citizenry.
But he called on leaders at all levels to promote peaceful coexistence.
He ascribed the frequent change of Police Commissioners in the state to a sinister plot by the leadership of the opposition in the state.
Dickson stressed that while it was not within his constitutional powers to determine postings of police chiefs, it was his responsibility to ensure that things were done properly to secure the state.
He said the recent signing of the law amending the Community Safety and Vigilante Corps would create increased opportunity for the citizens to participate more effectively in the security of their state.
He noted that his administration took deliberate steps to stabilize the state through infrastructure and human capacity development in the past seven years.
He said: “Bayelsa remains one of the safest and most stable states in this region and in Nigeria. This is as a result of a lot of factors and measures put in place by this administration. The leadership of this state has shown maturity in how we have been managing things, even matters that are provocative.
“I want to commend the people of Bayelsa for their peaceful disposition and commitment to peace and order.
“Though there are few challenges that are quite troubling, such as cultism and drug abuse, particularly as it involves young people, the security services are doing their best to ensure the state is safe and stable for the citizenry even during this Christmas period.
“Political, traditional, community and religious leaders should mobilise people to ensure and promote peaceful co-existence and those taking advantage of lapses in the security and structural imbalances and weak judicial system to desist.
“I also want to caution people, especially the youths of our state not to be misled by criminals masquerading as politicians who buy guns and ammunition to kill and main people. It is very important that people are free to canvass for votes and also vote their preferred candidates.
“Politicians should not take advantage of their authority and power to overheat the polity but go on with their campaigns peacefully as those planning to wreak havoc in this state will be surely dealt with.”
The governor further said that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which was established with the objective of aiding the development of the Niger Delta was doing nothing about the region.
“NDDC is doing nothing. They are not even around to plan anything with anybody. Everything is just politics to them. When they started, they were doing one or two things but now, they do nothing.”