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    Bayelsa assembly holds public hearing on community safety bill

    The Bayelsa State House of Assembly on Monday conducted a public hearing on Community Safety Bill at the assembly complex in Yenagoa, the state capital.

    The public hearing was attended by representatives of law enforcement agencies, civil society organisations, socio-cultural groups, local government councils and professional bodies.

    The executive bill is intended to repeal the State Voluntary Internal Vigilantes Agency (Bayelsa Volunteer) Law, 2003, the Community Safety and Vigilantes Corp Law, 2018 and the Registration Neighbourhood Watch Laws, and bring all of them under a central coordinating body called the Community Safety Corps.

    Speaking at the event, the Chairman, House Committee on Security, Bernard Kenebai, said the primary responsibility of government is the provision of security and welfare of the people, adding that laws had to be remodelled and strengthened because society was dynamic.

    Among the various stakeholder groups that made presentations at the public hearing were the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Ministry of Justice.

    Others included the Ijaw National Congress, Ijaw Youth Council, Nigerian Bar Association, Yenagoa branch, Bayelsa State Non-Governmental Organisations Forum and the Civil Liberties Organisation.

    They advocated that the community bill should empower traditional rulers to play a prominent role in the security of communities.

    They equally called for a transparent recruitment process that would be gender-sensitive, promote professionalism and be devoid of political colouration.

    In his remarks, the Chairman, Joint House Committee on Security, Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, Salo Adikumo commended the stakeholders for their contributions and promised that their views would be reflected in the final copy of the bill.

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