Delta State Government on Monday restated its commitment to the security of lives and property of citizens in the state.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who gave the affirmation at a news conference in Asaba, said the state government had a healthy working relationship with security agencies operating in the state and urged residents to cultivate such relationship with the agencies to engender mutual respect on both sides, especially during security operations.
Aniagwu condemned an alleged extortion of tricycle and commercial vehicle operators by policemen and urged the people to do the right thing by being law-abiding and ensure that their vehicle particulars were valid at all times.
He urged media practitioners to enlighten the people on the need to obey security agencies carrying out legitimate duties, and assured that observed cases of unwholesome acts by some police personnel would be handled with the authorities of the Force.
The Information Commissioner, who was flanked by his Youth Development counterpart, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said “as a government in Delta, we have a responsibility to ensure that the police go about their duty with respect to fundamental human rights of citizens.
He debunked reports in the social media that someone was killed by the police in Ughelli last weekend, saying “we want to place it on record that nobody was shot by the police or any of the security agencies in Ughelli as was earlier reported on social media.
“We thank God that the individual involved in the incident is alive and responding well to treatment.
“As a government, we don’t interface with the police through the media; we have our channels of communication with the security agencies and we don’t inform them to take certain actions in the media.
“We have a very wonderful working relationship with the police high command and with the officers and men of the Delta State Command.
“We appreciate ‘democratic policing’ that has respect for the rights of our people. We will also urge our people to also know that security agencies have a responsibility to protect all of us, including those in government and those who have given us the mandate to govern.
“The best thing to do when you are stopped by the police is to comply and respond to the questions with respect so that at the end of the day you don’t begin to have a situation which will bring unpalatable developments”, he said.
Aniagwu appealed to security agencies to always try as much as possible to be civil in the discharge of their responsibilities, adding that it behoved all citizens to realise that the security agencies had a responsibility to protect the society against the antics and actions of criminals.
“It will not be in the interest of our state and our people for individuals to go to the social media and begin to paint pictures that are at variance with realities.
“Let us take further time to verify social media posts before we repost so that we don’t continue to promote fake news,” he said.