Delta Government said setting up “Operation Delta Hawk” would not stop the state from participating actively in the proposed security outfit for South-South under the auspices of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta (BRACED) Commission.
Commissioner for Information in the State, Mr Charles Aniagwu, made the clarification on Monday while addressing Journalists of Warri, Ughelli, Isoko and Sapele Correspondents Chapels in Warri.
Aniagwu noted that while “Operation Delta Hawk” would concentrate mainly on internal security of the state, regional security outfit would tackle security issues in the region.
He also stated that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration was committed to ensuring the security of lives and property in the state.
He assured that the government would continue to assist security agencies operating in the state to ensure a safer state as there would be effective intelligence-sharing among all security agencies in the state.
The Commissioner who was accompanied by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, also, urged journalists to enlighten the people about the effects of Covid-19, noting that the fight against the virus should be collective for it to be easily eliminated in the state.
“We are here, first to show our appreciation for the enormous support the government has enjoyed from you in showcasing our modest achievements to our people and those in the diaspora about the activities of government from 2015 till date.
“As it concerns security, as a government, we have gone beyond the establishment of regional security outfit to establish the Operation Delta Hawk in the state because, there are regional security threats and domestic security threats.
“We are committed to the setting up of the regional security outfit by the BRACED Commission and we are also, empowering and equipping the security agencies, even when they are federal agencies because, they are protecting our people.
“We are aware of the importance of effective security on the socio-economic development of the State and we are aware that due to the successes recorded with the entrepreneurship programmes of Governor Okowa’s administration, the state is relatively enjoying social security.
“With security, the state has become number one oil producer in the country and more businesses are springing up with the multiplier benefits in employment of labour which has also, led to the National Bureau of Statistics placing us as second in standard of living in the country.”
On Covid-19, Aniagwu emphasised that it was real and that the media should enlighten the people more on the need to adopt government set protocols to curb the coronavirus.
He noted that Covid-19 had impacted a lot on the economy of the State with attendant loss in revenue and much money being spent in managing cases of the pandemic.
“As at today, we have 83 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 17 discharged cases and eight deaths; we do not pray that we have more cases of Covid-19 and the media should assist us to know that Covid-19 is real and can kill.
“Maintaining government set protocols are basic ways of checking its spread.
“There is Covid-19 in Warri; there is Covid-19 in other parts of Delta; there are well equipped hospitals in the state and more health facilities are being set up and equipped not really because of Covid-19 but, as you are aware, as ongoing projects of the government before the advent of Covid-19.
“The contributory health insurance policy is on and while we have more than 800, 000 Deltans who have enrolled, we desire full coverage for all Deltans so that our people who have health challenges should not suffer because they do not have immediate cash at hand.
“Our Governor is passionate about the health of Deltans and is also committed to meeting with his electoral promises and we can see what is going on with the Warri/Uvwie and Environs Development Agency.
“A lot of roads have been completed and a lot are still being constructed. Work has gone far on the Section A, Section C1 and C2 of the Ughelli/Asaba road project; the Warri Trans Ode-Itsekiri bridge has also reached advanced stage, with several others being constructed across the state.
“We are on course and as we approach 2023, government will not be distracted and will continue to do those things it has promised to achieve.
“Every of our statements is backed by verifiable facts and I appeal to you to always verify your facts before going to press,” the commissioner said.
On his part, the chief press secretary thanked the media for being responsible in their reportage, assuring that Okowa’s administration was open for people to verify their stories.
“We should show responsibility of balancing our story at all times.
“A journalist ought to know everything about everything and something about everything so that we will be better informed and equipped to inform others.
“I want to thank you for the responsible approach to your practice of journalism and development of the state,” Ifeajika said.