BY AUSTIN OYIBODE
National Vice President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Comrade Prince Kehinde Taiga, has sent important message to members of the Operation Delta Hawk, the new security team set up and inaugurated on Thursday by the Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
While inaugurating the outfit in Asaba, the governor said there has been increased kidnapping, robbery, herdsmen and farmers clashes and cultism in the state. The objective of the outfit is to help in the fight against these evils and reduce their occurrence if not totally eliminated from the state.
The members were selected from the army, the police, the civil defense and vigilante groups across the state. The governor acknowledged the unity among security personnel which, to a great extent, has helped the security of the state.
Comrade Taiga, who commended the governor for the bold step towards the security of lives and property in the state, however, advised and warned members of the team to remain within the mandate set out for the team by the governor.
Many security bodies would commence job in a good spirit as this but midway deviate into acts that contravene the objective setting them up. Hence Taiga is saying that this set should not compromise the message and the goal of the governor.
Specifically, Taiga said it is imperative that the outfit is not politicised. He warned against using them to fight political opponents, especially now that the local government election has been fixed and every intending aspirant is gearing up to contest for either chairman or councilor from any of the political parties in the state.
He also advised against turning the outfit into the disbanded SARS. He said the SARS started well in curbing criminal elements but began to extort money from poor road users, tagging youths as yahoo boys.and carrying POS machines in their vehicles to transfer money from accounts of their victims.
Taiga said the security outfit should operate within the ambit of the law setting it up. Operating within the law, he said, would make them acceptable to the people of Delta state. But if they deviate away from the mandate given to them, Deltans would campaign against them.
He warned against collection of bribe from the people of Delta state. He said their job must be carried out with passion and not resort to collecting bribe from people and allow criminality to thrive in the state. He said their duties should be carried out without looking at faces as far as it is within the law.
He also advised against intruding into civil and family matters. He said issues that have to do with husband and wife, parents and children, landlords and tenants, as far as it does not constitute breach of peace, it is not part of their duties.
He said they should focus on criminal activities, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, burglary and all crime related issues in the state.
Taiga is also warning that the group should not be involved in raising trump up charges against drivers and passengers on the highway.
He also warned against being used by community leaders to fight opponents. He said there are some community leaders who would not want to leave office, hence they would instigate crisis to make them remain on office.
He said they should only be involved in community matters when it leads to crisis and destruction of lives and property. Examples are the issues of communal clashes happening in Emede and Igbide and Ozoro and Oleh, all in Isoko North and South local government areas of the state.
He commended the governor for the initiative saying Governor Okowa has been very kind and magnanimous to security agents in Delta state.