Killings, Kidnappings, Sea piracy; seizure of boats, food items and personal effects are now characteristics of trips through the creeks of the Glory of all Lands.
Before now, travelling through the creeks in Bayelsa State was a thing of interest for any first time visitor of the state. Sailing on a boat through communities in the oil-producing State laying the golden egg for Nigeria was undoubtedly, a tourist attraction. This, however, is no longer the case; given the insecurity rocking the waterways of the oil-rich State.
As part of measures to curtail the menace, the Bayelsa State Government imposed a Dusk to Dawn curfew in the creeks on October, this year. Also imposed by the government was a ban on the use of 200- horsepower speed boats.
Prior to the curfew imposition, stakeholders from Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas had set up a special security outfit, codenamed Nembe-Se Security Network (NSSN)– all in efforts to check the growing menace.
Are these enough! Have the authorities done enough? What else can be done? The insecurity, despite security measures in place, has restricted the social and economic activities within the area. It is only a matter of time before its effect is felt on the state economy; if it is not already felt– the hardship, the hunger, the strife in the state are all pointers to the effect of the activities of these criminal elements.
Perhaps, area surveillance of the area can be effected to fish out the elements from their hideouts, police posts strengthened in all of the communities in the hinterland for quick response to distress calls. Also, could community policing, as being adopted by the Nembe-Brass stakeholders in Nembe-Se be the way forward?
The socio-economic effects of the insecurity in the Bayelsa water ways should never be down-played. Time is now!
Editorial Congress newspaper