The frosty relationship between the Bayelsa State Government and the police deepened on Monday following the withdrawal of the state security outfit, Operation Doo-Akpor, by the government.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mukan, while parading over 20 cultists in Yenagoa, said he was not consulted before the withdrawal.
Mukan said he was not briefed on the suspension of Doo-Akpor’s operations despite making inquiries from responsible government officials.
He said the Special Adviser on Security, Boma Sparo-Jack and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Talford Ongolo, said they were not aware about the reason for suspending the outfit’s operations.
Describing the withdrawal as unfortunate, he said the situation he met on ground on his resumption as the police chief in the state was that Doo-Akpor was not controlled by the police command.
He, however, said despite reporting directly to the governor, the government would have informed the police before suspending its operations especially amidst complaints of rising crimes in the state.
He said: “We are surprised the way you are. Let me inform you that Doo-Akpor is not operating under the state command. They are independent and they report directly to the governor.
“Though it is commanded by a senior police officer, they don’t take the command into considerations in their activities. So, when we notice the withdrawal we tried to ask questions. But nobody is coming up with any clear reason for withdrawing the vehicles.
“But it is unfortunate. If we are shouting that crime has increased in Bayelsa and action like that is to be taken at least we collaborators in fighting crimes in Bayelsa should be informed. But nobody informed us.
“I tried to get across to the special adviser on security, he said he was not aware. I got across to the chief of staff; he said he was not aware. So, l believe that the commander is in a better position to tell us why it was withdrawn”.
Mukan said he would not recommend the suspension of Doo-Akpor’s services since it was established to assist the police in fighting crime.
He, however, said the police were fully ready to guarantee security of lives and properties despite the suspension of Doo-Akpor.
He said: “Doo-Akpor should not be removed now. They are assisting in fighting crime in Yenagoa and I don’t see any reason in withdrawing it. The same people complaining of high wave of crime are the same people compounding it.
“But we are up to the task. We are moving and doing our own bit. The security situation has not changed because of the withdrawal of Doo-Akpor”,
Residents in Yenagoa expressed fears following sudden disappearance of patrol vans belonging to the state security outfit from the streets.
Investigations revealed that the services rendered by the security outfit were no longer available to members of the public.
The outfit’s patrol vans were no longer located at strategic places they were usually stationed for quick response to criminal activities.
It was also observed that the stop and search operations, which the security outfit recently commenced in Yenagoa the state capital, had been suspended.
There has been tension in the state following the alarm raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other government stakeholders on a plot by the Inspector-General of police to disband the security outfit.
Doo-Akpor, whose operatives comprised the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), was established and funded by the Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration to maintain the peace in the state.
The House of Assembly and elders from the state recently warned against the plot saying it would heighten insecurity in the state.
A top officer of the outfit, who spoke in confidence, confirmed that the security outfit was temporarily suspended.
But he said the withdrawal was not in connection with the alleged move to disband the outfit adding that the action was taken to rebrand the outfit and repair its vehicles for optimum service delivery.