The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, made good his threat to decisively with criminal elements in the state following the abduction of his Commissioner for Commerce and Investment, Mr Federal Otokiti.

Shortly after the commissioner who regained his freedom from his abductors on Monday evening was handed to him at Government House, Yenagoa, Diri dethroned the traditional ruler of Otuokpoti, Chief A.C.T Wongo, a father in law to the commissioner.

The Governor wasted no time in appointing his replacement in acting capacity, Chief Rescue Abe.

The Governor who spoke to Government House Correspondents
also announced the sacking of the Community’s Development Committee Chairman, Azibalua Amon and replaced him with Jerry Offor in acting capacity while the youth president, Emolem Igue was also removed and replaced with Shedrach Afiemo.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, stated that those who were axed by the Governor were complicit in the kidnap of the commissioner.

The statement also quoted the governor as reiterating the state government’s zero tolerance to crime and kidnapping.

Governor Diri warned all those who see kidnapping as a business to desist as his government will not hesitate to invoke the extant laws and make the state uncomfortable for criminal elements.

He called on all community leaders to remain vigilant and ensure that peace prevailed in their communities as government will not hesitate to sanction anyone found wanting in the discharge of their duties.

Governor Diri, who said preliminary investigation revealed that illegal refining of crude was connected to the kidnap, warned all those involved in such business in the state to stop forthwith.

The state’s helmsman thanked security agencies and all those who availed the government of useful information that led to the release of the commissioner, assuring that his government will continue to make Bayelsa safe for all residents.

“I like to thank God that a member of the state exco who was kidnapped is now here with us.

“I like to also thank the security agencies and all other sources that helped in securing the release of the commissioner.

“Investigation is still ongoing. So we appeal to all in Otuokpoti to keep the peace and security agencies will keep an eagle eye on Otuokpoti and environs.

“Bayelsa will not condone crime and criminality. We have zero tolerance for crime. Let this be a warning to all those who have taken that as a way of life that Bayelsa is not a state for them.

“We have anti-kidnapping laws and they will be invoked at all times. As a government, we will do everything to ensure peace for people of the state.”

Also, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ben Nebolisa, declared Joshua Abi, Clergy Mabinton, Gift Tebeda and Azin Azin wanted in connection with the kidnap.

The freed commissioner, Mr. Federal Otokito,in his remarks thanked Governor Diri, his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, and all those who worked for his release.


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