The absence of police personnel and other security operatives in some hotspots for crime and gang-related crisis in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital has made residents vulnerable to attacks by cultists and armed robbers.
Investigations reveal that over seven lives have been lost to cult-related violence, several cars have been highjacked and many persons have sustained different degrees of injuries in the last three weeks.
Tribune Online gathered that these sundry crimes were said to be on the rise in some parts of the State following the near absence of security operatives especially the police.
While cult groups engaged in violent raids traders in popular Swali markets, some residents of Amarata, Tombia and Ekeki areas have suffered attacks in the hands of armed robbers who use commercial Tricycle known as Keke NAPEP to raid commuters at night along major streets in the state capital.
It was also learnt that though the Bayelsa state capital did not witness #EndSARS protest-related violence compared to Lagos and some, many officers and men of the police have dumped their work as a result of the nationwide protests against police brutality.
It was further gathered the case of Bayelsa is relatively different due to the near lack of logistics, patrol vehicles and support from the State Government.
Further investigations revealed that the administrations of Former Governor Seriake Dickson and incumbent Governor Douye Diri have not shown the needed support to the police during and after the protests.
A journalist and State Correspondent of Guardian Newspapers, Mr Osahon Julius escaped a robbery attack on Thursday night around 8 pm along Azikoro road, near the Ekeki Police station.
According to Julius, “The incident was opposite the popular Unique bar, and one of the girls standing on the roadside was robbed of her phone. They were operating in a Keke and were armed. Up till now, no police on the road, Are they on strike because if they are let us begin to arm ourselves to defend ourselves.”
A visit to the Yenagoa office of one of the Telecommunication giants revealed that there is an increase in the number of persons seeking to recover their stolen SIM cards.
It was observed that some of the subscribers who crowded the office along Alamieyeseigha expressway appeared to be increasingly frustrated by the introduction of the new e-validation policy for SIM swap national wide.
The new policy which is in accordance with NCC guideline for Telecom giants requires that all customers must submit their personal information electronically to be eligible for a SIM swap.
A customer, simply identified as Frank, noted that “It’s an unnecessary bottleneck for the customer who has their sim registered with the network. Some customers have been coming to the Office for two weeks and still not be able to retrieve their lines.”
Reacting to the development, the spokesperson of the Bayelsa Police Command, Asinim Butswat, said the Command has strategically stationed patrol teams at various locations in Yenagoa metropolis for quick response to distress calls.
According to him,” We commend Bayelsans for the maturity exhibited during the EndSARS protest as the Command did not witness any riotous protest. The Command will intensify patrols and surveillance to address the current security situation in Yenagoa and environ.” (Nigerian Tribune)