Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has inaugurated ‘Operation Delta Hawk’, a new security outfit established by the State Government to enhance the security of lives and property in the state, insisting that those masquerading as herdsmen in the State with weapons would be given a hot chase and made to face the full weight of the law.

Okowa who inaugurated the outfit at its official headquarters in Asaba, told residents of the state to assist in tracking down criminals and their cohorts, adding that the settingup of “Operation Delta Hawk” was a proactive step towards checkmating insecurity in all parts of the state headlong. He held that the challenge of insecurity was already taking alarming dimension.

Noting that security operatives have given their best in the fight against cultism, herders/farmers clashes, kidnapping, armed robbery and other heinous crimes, he said Operation Delta Hawk which comprised of different security agencies and vigilante group would assist in flushing out criminal elements and criminality in the state.

Okowa affirmed that the unity among different security agencies in the state had helped in promoting peace building and the fight against criminal elements and pledged to continue to invest resources into the security sector for the overall development of the state.

The Governor said the State being a home for all, was not an avenue for armed herdsmen to cause mayhem, adding that those masquerading as herdsmen with weapons would be given a hot chase and made to face the full weight of the law.

Okowa said: “Today, we have finally come to inaugurate the Operation Delta Hawk which is a journey that we started a year ago. We had to put in a lot of planning into it.

“I must truly thank all our service commanders for all that they did to ensure the success of the operationalisation of the Operation Delta Hawk.

“I am truly very glad this day and I must let them (service commanders) know that I am truly very happy that today has come. There has been a lot of unity among them and that has enabled us to do the much we have been able to do. Obviously, there is a lot more to be done and that is what has given rise to Operation Delta Hawk.

“As I thank them (service commanders) today, I truly pray that they will help to see this baby grow and grow very fast and to become very effective to the extent that all of us will be proud of what we have put together.

“I must also, thank the office of the Secretary to the State Government for the great work that was put in to give birth to Operation Delta Hawk. We are at a time in our nation where there is a lot of insecurity and even while the state government and various agencies in charge of security are doing the best that they can, obviously we are still having a lot of challenge and therefore, we are thinking of new ways of ensuring the security of our people. That is actually what gave birth to this (Operation Delta Hawk).

“In Delta State, just like other states of the federation, there is no doubt that a lot of kidnapping still take place, there is a lot of banditry, cultism and it is really getting difficult for us to face and worst still is the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

“Deltans are watching and as they watch, I seek their prayers, partnership and corporation. They need to offer support for the Operation Delta Hawk and for the organised private sectors, I believe that they have a role to play to offer support in terms of both logistics and vehicular support to the Operation Delta Hawk, nothing is too small, nothing will be too big to support this great team that has been put together. It is my prayer that God will help us and strengthen our officers and men to produce the required results and we shall return all glory to Him (God) the father”.

While calling on traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth leaders and other critical stakeholders to assist the new security outfit, he pledged to procure more operational vehicles and other security gadgets by next year. Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie who spoke earlier, charged the officers and men involved in the fight against crime to put in their best with a view to justifying government’s huge investment in the security architecture.

Thanking Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for providing the fund and other logistics for the seamless take-off of Operation Delta Hawk, he said the new security outfit was a clear indication that the security of residents of the state was very dear to the Governor. He said; “what we are witnessing today, is the culmination of 12 months of intense research, planning and engagement aimed at finding a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity in Delta State.

“It also marks the beginning of a new era in the efforts of the Delta State Government under the distinguished leadership of His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, to enhance the safety and security of the lives and property of all persons resident in Delta.

“Following series of State Security Council meetings that had reviewed the situation in the state, it became apparent to all that there was a need to evolve a fresh security mechanism that would address growing incidents of kidnapping, banditry, farmer/herdsmen clashes, cultism and other such crimes across the State”.

The Coordinator of Operation Delta Hawk, Hon. David Tonwe said no effort would be spared in making the state safe for all. In their separate remarks, the Chairman, Delta State Security Trust Fund (DSSTF), Elder Emmanuel Ogidi and the Executive Secretary of the agency, Chief Sam Osasa said that the DSSTF was set to advance security in the state and sued for the contribution of the private sector and donor agencies as government cannot do it alone.

Items inaugurated at the flag-off ceremony included operational vehicles, body armour, communication gadgets and other security apparatus used in gathering information on security-related issues.