The Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, on Monday in Yenagoa urged security agencies to treat political leaders who sponsor criminals as criminals themselves.

According to Dickson, such political leaders should be arrested and prosecuted like the criminals they sponsor to perpetuate crime against innocent citizens in the society.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, said Dickson made the suggestion during a courtesy call on him by the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Abubakar Alhassan.

The Governor said: “It is our position in this state that crime is crime and security agencies should arrest and treat political leaders who are sponsoring criminals as common criminals because that is what they are.”

The Governor also called on the Naval authorities to intensify efforts to improve maritime security in the waters of Bayelsa State.

Dickson enjoined the Navy to rise effectively to the challenge of sea piracy, kidnapping, oil theft, vandalism and related maritime crimes.

“I count on you to combat and bring down to the barest minimum, the cases of piracy in the waters, cases of kidnapping, the oil theft, the vandalism of Strategic national assets and so forth,” he added

The Governor, who commended the Federal Government for the establishment of the Central Naval Command, said the Navy had a major responsibility in the maintenance of maritime security and stability.

The governor stressed that his administration had always emphasized the pertinence of law and order because of the need to preserve the foundation for peace, security, stability and development established by the government over the last six years.

According to him, the Navy’s role in supporting development in Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta and the entire country cannot be overemphasized.

Dickson commended the Navy’s action against the scourge of sea piracy in Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State.

He demanded the establishment of a naval outpost at Oluasiri and Agge in Nembe and Ekeremor Local Government Areas of the state to strengthen the onslaught on maritime crime.

He said: “While thanking you for your record in Koluama, I wish to inform you we intend working with you to support the establishment of another outpost at the Oluasiri end at the Eastern part and we also need a strong naval presence at Agge in the West.

“If there is any arm of our nation’s security system whose strength is critical to the maintenance of stability, it is the Navy; so this state will continue to partner with the Nigerian Navy.”

Earlier, Alhassan had commended Dickson for his sustained support for the activities of the service and indeed the military in Bayelsa State.

He lauded the governor for donating a property for the building of a Naval Secondary School in Yenagoa.

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