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How we transformed Edo into one of the safest States in Nigeria, by Obaseki

23 Jun 2024


says Edo has over 15,000 vigilante operatives policing various communities in 18 LGAs

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the government’s investment in strengthening the State’s security architecture and overhauling the security system has transformed Edo as the safest in the South-South region and one of the most secure in the country.

Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, said the government gained the confidence of investors, which has resulted in the influx of businesses, leading to enhanced economic activities and increased revenues for the State.

The governor, while noting that security is local, listed some of the nuanced steps taken to include the decentralization and democratization of the security system to allow community participation in the State’s policing and security architecture.

He explained that the State has over 15,000 vigilante operatives policing various communities across the 18 local government areas in the State, adding that the initiative has tremendously improved safety and security in the State.

According to him, “On a scale, Edo is still the safest State in this zone. What we've done with security is to decentralize and democratize security. Security is local. Today, we have community participation in our policing.

“We have up to 15,000 men as vigilantes policing the various communities in the State. We trained them with the assistance of the Federal security agencies; we equipped them with communication devices and have invested in surveillance equipment. We have a lot of cameras in the streets; we have a Command and Control Center where all incidents get reported to and there's response and dispatch, almost instantaneously.

“So, Edo is much safer today. Of course, you have incidents of bandits and one or two cases, but we respond. The major crime we have in Edo today is cultism. It leads to a lot of homicides and therefore when investors come in, insecurity is not a deterrent to most of them.”

He however reassured that the government is taking drastic measures to end the activities of cultists, Okaigheles, and other criminal gangs, in partnership with other security agencies in the State.

Obaseki added, “If you're spending the night, just drive around town, you will see that people stay out late doing their business. So, we've managed security and it’s much better. It's not affecting business as it did 6-7 years ago. The night economy in Edo, particularly in Benin, is thriving.”

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