The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government will continue to support the State’s Vigilante Security Network to enhance security in the state and ensure the protection of lives and citizens.
Obaseki gave the assurance while addressing traditional rulers, security chiefs and other stakeholders in Edo North Senatorial District, at Etsako West Local Government Council Hall in Auchi, on Tuesday.
Present at the meeting are the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu; Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Monday Osaigbovo; Commissioner for Security and Public Safety, Hon. Omololu Ojehomon, as well as Heads of Administration of the Six Local Government Areas in Edo North, amongst others.
The governor, while assuring that the government will provide more logistics support to the vigilante network to improve patrol and surveillance in the grassroots, said his administration will be working with communities that have boundaries with other neighboring states, including Akoko-Edo and Etsako-East where security is porous so as to strengthen mechanisms and strategies to secure the borders and increase security in the areas.
Obaseki said, “We will continue to provide support for our vigilante but in the immediate, we will purchase a number of motorcycles for the vigilante for patrol and bush combing. The vigilante must be supported with some stipends and logistics. I will give you a Christmas bonus for the year as each local government will get N3 million for the work you have done for this year.
“From January 2023, we will make sure we support each local government with N1 million every month to support our vigilante and report must be rendered in every Security Council meeting.
“I thank the Afamai World Congress who contributed N10 million to support security in Edo North. We will double the money and use it to support our vigilante with logistics.”
“We encourage other associations and citizens to support the state security arrangement as the government alone can’t do it. These men need encouragement to combat crime and make the state peaceful,” he added.
The governor further noted: “To have effective security, one must know those he is securing. This has given rise to the ongoing citizens’ identification exercise. Edo State citizens’ identification is tied to the national identification as our officials will visit you soon to take your details. This will help us provide adequate security for our people. If you don't have an identity as a citizen of Edo State, your children will not be able to attend our schools, hospitals and markets. It will get a lot of push in January 2023 and needs your support.
“We thank our vigilantes, PUWOV and hunters for your efforts and services which will never be taken for granted. Our role is to organize and provide some support. From January 2023, the six commands of the vigilante in Edo North will be the first to be trained.”
He added, “People must understand that there is now a law in Edo State which prohibits open grazing and to graze one must respect the stipulation of the law. We will make copies again to the local government security committee to study and give full effects to the law within one month.
"There is a law in Edo State which I have signed, the anti-open grazing law. It’s illegal for anybody to graze openly or in an area that has not been so earmarked and the provision is clear and must be given full effect.”
Head of Administration of Akoko Edo Local Government, Alemoghana Innocent thanked the Edo State Government for its support and prompt response with a tactical squad which helped in the rescue of 27 persons kidnapped in the local government.
The Otaru of Igarra, His Royal Highness, Oba Adeche Saiki Il, appealed for more sophisticated weapons to enable the hunters, vigilante and locals secure themselves and their environment while the Olokpe of Okpe Kingdom, Oba Okhishimede Eshimokhai Idogu III, urged the government to provide logistics to support the system to ensure peace and unity in the 18 LGAs of the state.
On his part, the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, thanked the governor for his interest in securing the lives of the people.