Edo State Government has warned communities along the Benin-Auchi highway against connivance with criminals operating in that axis, saying the communities owed it a duty to stem the tide of insecurity in their localities.
The warning by the state government came in the wake of the alarming rate of insecurity along the route, with kidnappers and other criminal elements operating with reckless abandon.
The state government posited that until the communities rose to the occasion, criminals would to continue to perpetuate their kidnapping and other criminal activities in the axis.
It would be recalled that youths in Ehor, Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state, had last week barricaded the road as a result of incessant cases of kidnapping and killings in that axis.
At a meeting with community leaders, youths and other stakeholders on Thursday, the state government, represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Comrade Philip Shaibu and heads of security agencies, said the state government got more information that would complement the security architecture the state governor, Godwin Obaseki had already initiated.
“We came here for a fact-finding mission, we already have a security architecture that the governor is already working to deal with this menace. Youths last week protested here and we needed to come down to the community to actually know what the issues are and how to deal with them. We have discovered that the issue of security has to be localised and in localising it, you must hear directly from the people,” Shaibu submitted.
“We have the information, we need to understand it deeply and fortunately for us, some of the things we have put in place are some of the solutions they are suggesting to us and we have learnt one or two other things that we needed to add to the security architecture. We are good to go and what we have agreed is that we all have to domesticate every aspect of dealing with security,” the deputy governor added.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, cautioned the communities against conniving with the suspected criminals and called for information to help to check the insecurity in the area, just as he promised increased police presence in the area.
The Edo police boss hinted that Tue Command was aware that some community members had more information about the activities of the criminals and sued for the prompt release of such information to ease the job of the security agents operating in the area to restore normalcy.
“Also, we need information from the communities because to us, it appears that there are some community members that have more information and we have impressed on them to give us information and if there is anybody benefitting from it, we want the community to open up and search within so that if there is any deviant benefitting from what is happening, we will know and bring them to book,” Ogbadu pleaded.
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