We’ll Stop Oil Bunkering, Kidnapping -Uduaghan

BY AUSTINE ETAGHENE/MICHAEL IKEOGWU/VOKE UVWIE
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State yesterday re-affirmed his commitment to the fight against kidnapping, oil bunkering and allied criminal activities in the state.
He also disclosed that the state government would soon enact a law to prosecute individuals who vandalise government property.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting with journalists in Warri, Uduaghan appealed to all stakeholders, including community leaders, to join forces with government in this direction.
The governor said that though insecurity was a global challenge, the state government was partnering with relevant security agencies towards making the state’s waterways safe for business to flourish.
According to him, the collaboration between the state government and security agencies is in line with the Federal Government’s directive to stamp out oil bunkering, sea piracy and related vices in the country’s waterways.
“On land, we have the twin issues of armed robbery and kidnapping. Armed robbery, as we all know, is an old crime and we are doing our best in the fight against the scourge.
“Kidnapping, on the other hand, is a new twist to crime in the state and we are doing everything possible towards reducing it to the barest minimum,” he said.
Uduaghan condemned those who hide under the guise of unemployment to engage in kidnapping, saying, “I want to make it abundantly clear that unemployment is not an excuse to go into kidnapping and other related crimes.
“Of late we have heard excuses by some kidnappers that unemployment led them to kidnapping. Unemployment is not peculiar to Delta State and Nigeria in general. Unemployment is a global phenomenon.”
The governor appealed to all concerned to collaborate with government in making the state safe for investments, adding that the much talked about unemployment would continue to dare the people if the right atmosphere was not created for investors to come in.
He said his administration’s vision to create employment opportunities for Deltans gave rise to the on-going massive provision of infrastructure in the state, expressing confidence that genuine investors would soon flood the state to tap into the investment opportunities already provided.
Uduaghan noted that the state micro-credit programme was already yielding dividend as three women who had distinguished themselves in plantain processing, spice production and bead making were among those sponsored by the state government to the London Olympics for exhibition.
He emphasised that the micro-credit scheme was still on course and open to all Deltans both at home and in the Diaspora, adding that government had plans to empower those who have succeeded at the micro-credit level to graduate to small scale businesses.
On the problem of flooding, the governor re-stated his administration’s determination to open up blocked water channels to avoid flood disaster in the state, adding that government had received commendation from citizens who were being threatened by flood for coming to their rescue.