Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG Zone 16, Yenagoa, Mr Austin Agbonlahor, has stressed the need for collaboration of all stakeholders in fighting and prevention of crime and criminality.
He stated this while playing host to executives and members of the Travel Writers Corps of the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, during the group’s formal courtesy call on him in Yenagoa.
“Safe environment is needed for tourism and tourists in the Niger Delta region. Effort is needed from all stakeholders to give meaningful attention to security and crime prevention”, he said.
Mr Agbonlahor, added that effective and responsible crime prevention enhances the quality of life of all citizens, with long-term benefits in terms of reducing the costs associated with the formal criminal justice system, as well as other social costs that may result from crime.
According to the police boss, crime can have a very negative impact on tourism promotion, saying there is urgent need for synergy on the part of all stakeholders, including the security community, policy makers and the private sector to collaborate and come up with crime preventive measures to ensure a safe environment for tourists and all citizens.
Speaking as head of the delegation to the zone, the Travel Writers Corps chairman, Mr Piriye Kirayamo, intimated the AIG of a planned tourism safety and security seminar in Yenagoa by the group.
Reacting, the AIG promised to be available to play his role to further enrich the security architecture of the zone.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Police in a bid to further make policing nearer to Nigerians recently established additional police formations and zones, including zone 16 which has its headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Kiyaramo reiterated that it was necessary to ensure the cooperation of all stakeholders involved in the tourism sector, ranging from local government authorities, community leaders, policy makers, the police and other security agencies, including corporate organizations to make the planned event a success.
“The most significant impact of crime on a tourist destination is the negative image of the destination, which may result in reducing tourist appeal and demand for every destination as a result of negative reports about such destinations”, he said.
“The impact of crime on tourism can be seen at two levels: the macro and micro levels. The impact of crime on the macro level refers to its effects on society in general while on the social community or tourist destination, the impact of crime at the micro level have to do with the effects of crime on individuals. The impact of crime on the micro level is evident in the influence on the behaviour and attitudes of tourists, and their decision to visit or revisit a destination where criminal incidents happen”, he added.
Giving her vote of thanks, Vice Chairperson of the Travel Writers’ Corps, Mrs Pauline Onyibe, commended the AIG for his prompt response to the request for the visit, informing him of his nomination as patron of the body.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
C’River Distributes Relief Materials To Fire Victims, Supports EndSARS
The Cross River State Government yesterday distributed relief materials worth millions of naira to affected traders of the Marian Market fire disaster of June 4.
The items distributed were bags of rice, cement, zinc and mattresses, among others.
Addressing the traders at the Calabar Municipal Council, Governor Ben Ayade described the tragic incident as unfortunate, hazardous and tragic.
The governor was represented by the Chairman of Calabar Municipal Council, Mr Efeffiong Eke.
Ayade said that no life was lost but that properties acquired over the years by traders were destroyed.
“I know how painful it is to lose your source of livelihood after years of toil and dedication.
“It is on this note that we have brought in these relief materials to ameliorate your plight and to encourage you never to give up,” he said.
Ayade said that the relief materials could not erase the shock experienced by the affected traders, but can reduce the negative impact it might have created in their lives
He assured the traders that his administration would remain committed to improving the welfare of the people, especially those who contribute in no small measure to the growth and development of the state’s economy.
Also speaking, the Director-General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Princewill Ayim, commended the governor for his timely intervention.
Ayim said that although the items might not be commensurate with the loss, they should be viewed from the intent rather than the quantity.
Responding on behalf of the traders, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Cross River Chapter, Mr Ejike lgwe, thanked the governor for the prompt response.
Mr Igwe said the items would go a long way in mitigating the hardship experienced by the affected traders and their families.
He lauded the relationship between the state government and the traders.
Igwe promised that the association would continue to support the Ayade-led government to move the state forward.
Meanwhile, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday pledged support for the ongoing #EndSARS protest in the nation while inaugurating a seven-man Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution to investigate police brutality on residents of the state.
Speaking during the inauguration of the panel in Calabar, Ayade said that African leaders must be bold enough to admit the fact that they have failed the younger generation.
”Government must recognise the fact that it has to first provide that which was provided in our constitution in section 14(2) that the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of its citizens,’’ he said.
He challenged the panel to come together and allow people who had been brutalised to speak out adding that the state would do all it could to ensure that victims were rightly compensated.
Bayelsa Govt Commits To End Infrastructural Deficit
Bayelsa State Government has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to reimburse some state governments for funds used in executing various federal projects in their states.
The state Governor, Senator Douye Diri gave the commendation in Yenagoa when he received members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Local and Foreign Debts in Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Diri who was represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted that the gesture would enable state governments to redouble their collaborative efforts in addressing the infrastructural deficit in the country.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Deputy Governor, Mr Doubara Atasi, maintained that most state governments were discouraged from deploying their scarce resources to fix dilapidated federal projects located in their areas due to Federal Government’s reluctance towards repayment.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after conducting members of the National Assembly round some federal projects including the Ekoli Bridge along the Yenagoa-Oporoma Road, Senator Ewhrudjakpo expressed optimism that the inspection visit would facilitate the release of funds owed the state.
While thanking the Joint Committee for the visit, he urged the executive and judicial arms of government to accord the legislature its pride of place in the scheme of democratic governance.
According to the Deputy Governor, democracy cannot survive without the legislative arm performing its core functions of law-making, oversight and representation in society.
“The National Assembly is a very important institution which has not been given due attention and respect in this country because they see us as new entrants into the Nigerian hemisphere of governance”, he said.
“But they should not forget that if there is no law-making, no oversight and no representation, then there will be no democracy. It is on these three pillars that democracy actually stands”, he added.
“I believe that the National Assembly is the highest institution that must be respected by all. Having been part of that institution, the Governor and I will continue to give it respect”, the Governor noted.
The statement from the Deputy Governor’s media aide has it that the delegation was made up of members of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Foreign and Local Debts which came to the state to ascertain the veracity of claims by the state Government on the execution of federal projects in the state.
“We thank the Federal Government and the National Assembly for this effort, which we believe will facilitate the release of the funds due our state, which can be used in developing other critical sectors”, the Governor restated.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Odia and his House of Representatives counterpart, Hon. Safana Dayyabu, said the visit was to confirm the execution of federal projects with a view to facilitating the release of funds due the state on account of such projects.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
#EndSARS: Foundation Condemns Coordinated Jailbreak, Killings In Edo
The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE), has condemned the coordinated jailbreak in two Benin prisons in Edo State and wanton destruction of lives and properties by suspected hoodlums who infiltrated the #EndSARS protesters.
Chairman of the HURIDE, Mr Dede Uzor, made this known in a statement in Awka yesterday.
“Troublemakers under the cover of #EndSARS protesters broke into the prison in Benin and set 130 convicts serving different life sentences, free.
“The actions of these youths, are highly reprehensible , despicable, strange, evil and against the #EndSARS peaceful protest throughout the country.
“Some of these youths also burnt down different police stations and killed unarmed police officers and civilians”, he said .
Uzor said that security operatives should immediately arrest these unlawful elements and bring them to justice and arrest police officers who killed civilians during their peaceful protest throughout the country.
“The youths should concentrate purely on reformation,-restructuring, employment, engagement of the youths among other basic infrastructural requirements in line with our statutory constitutional provisions,” he said.
“We further urge the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to immediately constitute a special commission of inquiry to look into the budgetary allocations of the Police since the advent of democracy in 1999,especially in the area of welfare and well-being of police officers throughout the country.
“The panel, should also look at the decaying state of the barracks, police vehicles and the issue of funding, uniforms, among other things,” he said.
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