Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers attacked some police personnel after temporarily taken over security checkpoint on Saturday in Edo North Senatorial District, amid surge in violent crimes and cult related killings in some parts of the State.
Governor Godwin Obaseki said this during security briefing on Monday at the Solomon Arase Command and Control Centre in Benin City, the Edo State Capital where he listed measures to secure the State.
The Governor also confirmed a report of arson in Edo North, where in the guise of burial some citizens resulted to arson and assault on security agencies in Oja Village in the same Senatorial district, but he did not give the number of victims.
In his bid to stem the tide of insecurity in the State, the Governor has ordered for compulsory profiling of and reaccreditation of all operatives of the State’s Security Vigilante Network, numbering over 6,500 across the State.
“We heard some kidnappers took over a checkpoint and attacked some policemen on patrol, but none lost their lives in the incident and this has prompted the government to commence a total revamp of the vigilante structure, Obaseki said, “Commencing today, only the vigilante personnel trained in the Nigerian Police Training School under the arrangement with the Edo State Government will be allowed to serve in Edo State.
“All vigilante groups and persons trained so far, about 6,500 men, are required to report to the Police Staff College where they received training for accreditation. The Commander will be issuing instructions on the specific dates for reaccreditation”, he said.
The Governor warned that “after the reaccreditation, anybody or group acting as vigilantes without being trained by the Edo State Government will be dealt with like criminals. Come out for the exercise, as we want to re-identify them and put them in our security information system software that we have developed. It will help monitor and track their activities.”
Speaking further, Obaseki said, “We all are aware of the security challenges in the State this weekend, particularly in Edo North, where in the guise of burial some citizens resulted to arson and assault on security agencies in Oja Village”.
Obaseki in the company of all security Chiefs in the State, described the situation as unacceptable, warning that criminals should not to test his resolve in securing the State and deal with those involve in the heinous crime.
According to him, “The State will collaborate with Federal agencies, manning 24/7 hours Command and Control Center to ensure any incident, crime or breach of security is reported and all security agencies are in full alert to deal with such.
“Citizens are encouraged to call the security emergency numbers 112 or 739. These numbers should be called in any time of distress or security breaches in Edo State”, Obaseki said.
Also speaking, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adegboye said “Edo State government in collaboration with the Inspector General of Police is bringing in about 4,000 policemen into the State to ensure peace and development in the State”.
On his part, the Commander 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Oduyebo, said his men will continue to collaborate and support other sister security agencies to ensure the safety and security of the people.