The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has expeditiously passed the Education Safety Corp bill, 2017, against the backdrop of abduction of pupils in schools to prevent various crimes in public primary and secondary schools in the state.
The bill sponsored by the Leader of the House and member representing Sagbama Constituency I, Hon. Peter Akpe, seeks to establish Education Safety Corp to work for protection of equipment and security of pupils guarding against cultism and kidnapping.
The Speaker of the Bayelsa State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Friday Konbowei Benson posited that the bill was a move in the right direction, particularly as the various states police command have inundated the Force Headquarters to recruit more personnel and approved logistic to enable them outlaw the challenge of inadequate personnel and logistics to contain crime not just in public but also in private schools in the country.
Speaking on the abduction of pupils in Model College Igbonla in Lagos State, and those abducted in Ogun state, the Speaker noted that the federal, state and local government has a constitutional responsibility to protect live and properties, even as he noted that the bill was passed to forestall such occurrence in the oil and gas rich Bayelsa state.
After the third reading of the bill, owing to the sensitive nature of the bill with recourse to the spate of abduction of pupils in schools, members unanimously passed it following robust debate on it.
The Education Safety Corp Bill is now awaiting the assent of State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson.
The bill reads that the Operation of the Corps would be coordinated and headed by a retired senior security officer to serve as State Commandant.
The Corps members who must be between age of 18 and 45, are expected to respond and alert police on crimes, arrest of suspects, maintain peace during sporting activities, particularly the annual inter-house sports events in schools, as well as other major functions.
The bill also states that there would be Local Government Sector Coordinators who will work with State Police, Directorate of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), and other security agencies.
Meanwhile, Speaker, Konbowei Benson, and other Lawmakers of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state received the Lawmaker representing Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency II, Hon. Ebiye Tarabina who dumps the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and joined the PDP.
Tarabina, in a letter read on the floor of the house during Tuesday’ sitting, notify the Speaker and members that the defection into the fold of the PDP was necessitated because of the intractable internal crisis within the state chapter of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
To this end, sequel to the reception of Hon. Tarabina, out of the 24-member house, PDP now have 22 Lawmakers, Labour Party 1 and the All Progressive Congress also occupy a seat in the Bayelsa State Assembly.