The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has lamented the activities of a new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, saying their nefarious activities are scaring away foreign investors.
Dickson was quoted in a statement on Wednesday by his media aide, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, as expressing his regrets during a meeting with the representatives of some international oil companies and security chiefs.
The governor, therefore, called for concerted efforts to arrest the ugly trend whereby security personnel, innocent citizens were being killed and oil installations were being vandalised by members of the Niger Delta Avengers.
He described the perpetrators as criminals and economic saboteurs, declaring that the development was sending a wrong signal to the international community.
He said, “The unfortunate development is scaring foreign investors away from investing in the country. The recent development is affecting the socio-economic growth of not only the state, but the entire region.
“May I therefore call on stakeholders to discuss the way forward to nip in the bud, the unwarranted and incessant destruction of critical national assets.
“The way forward is for all stakeholders to discuss the issues and the need for the Federal Government to tread with caution and not adopt military approach as a means of solving the problem.
“No one person can protect the assets in the remote areas of the region. I, therefore, call on those involved in this act of criminality and brigandage to stop forthwith. We also commend the military and other security organs in their fight against pipeline vandalism and the protection of lives and property in the region.”
Speaking in the same vein, the state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukah, said the meeting had resolved to engage various communities in the region in a dialogue in order to put an end to the upsurge in criminal activities.
He said security findings revealed that some oil producing communities were not happy with the award of the surveillance contract by the oil companies to non-indigenes.