The State acknowledged ownership of the building.
The Bayelsa State Government on Thursday admitted that it owned the building where nine suspected terrorists were found in Ijora area of Lagos State. It, however, dissociated itself from the suspects
The state Commissioner for Information, Markson Fefegha, said in Yenagoa that the state government had no links whatsoever with the suspects who used the abandoned building for their nefarious activities. Mr. Fefegha urged security agencies in Lagos to carry out further investigation into the claim to establish any information to the contrary.
The Commissioner, who confirmed that the abandoned building belongs to the Bayelsa State Government, said the governor had already directed that the building be demolished and a more befitting house built and put to use.
“The government had dispatched a team of engineers to assess the state of the building. So, we have to await the report of the team sent to assess the situation. No responsible government can harbour terrorists,” he said.
The Commissioner said that the government had been in the vanguard of fighting against terrorism and other violent crimes, saying the state government had prescribed death penalty for convicted kidnappers in the state as a demonstration of its commitment to fight against the crime.
Mr. Fefegha expressed optimism that the suspects would be investigated, prosecuted and made to feel the full wrath of the law.
The traditional ruler of Ijora had stated that the community had written repeatedly for several years to Bayelsa State to either occupy or demolish the abandoned building so that it would not be a hideout for criminals.
Also reacting to the arrest of 30 job seekers on Tuesday in Yenagoa, Mr. Fefegha dismissed the claim that government was insensitive to the plight of unemployed youths, adding that the claims were self-seeking as they demanded a stipend of N40, 000 monthly.
“Just a few days ago, 500 youths left for agricultural training in Republic of Benin. We also offered amnesty to cultists and from our record so far, 3,000 of them have registered to participate in skills acquisition scheme. There are so many programmes targeted at empowering our youths and government believes that people should avail themselves of such opportunities rather than breach the peace,” he said.