Edo govt expresses dismay over US blacklist

Edo State government has described as error the listing by the United States government of Edo State along with 19 other states of the federation as unsafe and that her citizens in the country should stay away from the states.

In a widely circulated report last week, the United States government declared Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as no-go-area for her citizens and recommended against all but essential travel to Edo and 16 other states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies and other armed attacks.

The categorisation, has, however, not gone down well with the Edo State government, who, on Monday, stated that the travel ban placed by the US Consulate on her citizens with respect to the state was an error of judgement.

In a press release made available to journalists in Benin City on Monday, Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said the state government has invested much in economic infrastructure and security and that the action of the United States government amounted to raising false alarm.

Afegbua said, “Barely a week ago, the Edo state Governor received a delegation of the United States Consulate led by the Consul-General, John Bray and Michael Harvey, Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development [USAID] on the 26th July in Benin City when the delegation visited the Azura Power Plant to ascertain the level of progress of this $1b investment in the power sector.

“We have new multi-national companies across the state that have helped to improve the economic well-being of the state and providing gainful employment to thousands of our teeming youths.

“Rather than raise false alarm about the security situation of the state, we wish to assure the US Consulate that Edo state is safe for all; residents, visitors and investors who want to carry out their legitimate businesses.

“Our security agencies have been working in partnership with the state government to sustain our commitment of eliminating all forms of criminalities across the state. It is therefore out of place to raise false alarm for no justifiable reason.”