Bernard Mgbar Baridamue, a first-time lawmaker in the Rivers House of Assembly, has stirred public attention with his recent launch of the ‘Bicycle Initiative to Combat Insecurity’ in Ward 9 of the Tai State Constituency in Tai local government area.
Baridamue, also the Chairman of the House Committee on Emergency Relief/Special Duties, unveiled the project at Bunu-Tai Town Square.
PM News reports that the initiative involves the distribution of bicycles and torchlights as valuable resources to aid the battle against insecurity within the ward.
Photos from the event show elders and stakeholders laying hands on the bicycles before they are distributed.
The project has elicited mixed reactions from the public, with both criticisms and commendations.
Some members of the public find the initiative unacceptable in the 21st century, expressing discontent with the allocation of resources for such projects. Critics argue that the area is peaceful without needing bicycles and torchlights.
One Chamberline Kinikanwo labelled the initiative a “disgrace” and called on the people of Tai to reject such projects, emphasizing that there are better ways for lawmakers to contribute to the development of their communities.
On the contrary, Prince Sordum Leke commended Baridamue’s initiative as a timely intervention in Bunu-Tai community. Leke argued that considering the high fuel and maintenance costs for vehicles, bicycles offer an economical and sound alternative for local policing. He pointed out that bicycles are quiet, enabling vigilantes to approach criminals discreetly.
Leke highlighted the importance of local solutions for local challenges and cited examples from advanced countries where police use bicycles for various functions.
He expressed appreciation for Baridamue’s representation and his efforts to address the challenges facing his constituency for the greater good of Rivers State.