The National Youth Council of Ogoni People (NYCOP) has called on the political leadership in Ogoni to take responsibility for the insecurity in the land and work to address the menace.
President of NYCOP, Theo Mbagha, made the call in Bori yesterday while answering questions from newsmen on the security situation in Ogoni.
Mbagha said the problem of insecurity in Ogoni is basically a creation of the political class and therefore the political leadership is expected to lead in the fight against bandits.
Mbagha admitted that Ogoni faces some challenges at the moment, however, he said the situation was not out of control as widely reported by those who want to take advantage of it as cover for the militarization of the area and achieve their goal to force oil resumption in Ogoni without the consent of the people.
"Have we asked ourselves why gangsterism and banditry is always on the rise during every general elections?. Mbagha asked.
He said following the trend in the last five general elections, social vices and gangsterism rose during the elections as a result political patronage of gangsters by the political class to win elections".
The NYCOP President said the political class can save us and restore peace in our communities by changing their attitude towards elections, withdrawing their patronage for gangsters and embracing peaceful methods to win elections.
The NYCOP president further blamed the security agencies in Ogoni for the deteriorating security situation accusing them of compromise especially in dealing with illegal oil refining and pipeline vandals.
The solution, he said, is to overhaul the entire security architecture in Ogoniland, boost the capacity of the Police to provide security and integrate local community youths into the intelligence system of the Police.
"Community involvement in the security of our villages will help crime detection and prevention. Fortunately, their exit a pool of youths under the federal government amnesty program who are paid monthly and can be harnessed into a functional intelligence network in all Ogoni communities" Mbagha said.
He urged the Ogoni political class not to be hypocritical about the security problems but rather should courageously take full responsibility for the problem and address them most appropriately.