Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has flagged off the twenty-twenty-two Operation Still Waters Exercise with a call on stakeholders in the security sub-sector to improve on the prevailing synergy in the Niger Delta.
Performing the ceremony at sixteen-Brigade Army Forward Operational Base, Otuokpoti in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state, Governor Diri stressed that the peculiar security challenges of the region could be improved through a more cordial military-civil relationship.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, highlighted the challenges to include pipeline vandalism, illegal oil refining, kidnapping, and cultism as well as youth restiveness.
He however, acknowledged that the deployment of military forces and other security agencies have helped to stem the tide of criminal activities in the region.
Governor Diri, commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya and sixteen-Brigade Brigade Nigerian Army for collaborating with other sister agencies to achieve the existing peace and security in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta.
The State Chief Executive however called for more sacrifices and synergy from stakeholders to maintain the peace, especially as the Yuletide and general elections draw closer.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the flag off, he reiterated his administration’s commitment towards supporting security agencies and called for collective effort in the fight against crude oil theft.
Earlier, Commander, sixteen-Brigade Nigerian Army, Yenagoa, Brigadier General S.Y. Yakasai, assured that the Army has been repositioned to deal with anyone including military personnel found culpable in oil theft and other criminal activities.
Brigadier General Yakasai, thanked Bayelsa State government for its support and promised that the Army would step up its collaborative efforts with other security agencies in the maintenance of peace and security.