Obaseki deploys ‘traditional ways’ to end killings in Edo

Governor Godwin Obaseki

By Jethro Ibileke
Worried by the incessant killings and other criminal activities in some parts of Benin, the capital of Edo, the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has forged a common front with other stakeholders to stem the ugly trend.
It would be recalled that insecurity in the state capital had heightened, following the #EndSARS protest that was hijacked by hoodlums, which resulted in jailbreak at the Benin City and Oko Correctional Centres, both in the state capital.
The hoodlums also burned down three police stations in the city.
To this end, a meeting was convened at the instance of Governor Obaseki, to chart way for peace in the troubles zones, particularly the Upper Sakponba area.
Stakeholders present at the meeting included elders, Enigie (Dukes), religious and opinion leaders with the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Babatunde Kokumo and other opinion leaders.
The meeting coincided with the inauguration of Ikpoba-Okha local government area Vigilante group.
Chairman of Ikpoba-Okha local government area, Dr. Eric Osayande, told journalists at the end of the meeting that the Governor gave the directive for conveying the meeting.
He further disclosed that the governor charged stakeholders at the meeting to seek ways to deploy traditional methods of policing their locality.
Osayande assured that the 70 men recruited to form the Vigilance group will assist conventional security agents in fighting crime and would be paid monthly salaries by the local government council.
“The Governor had given us a directive that we must call all the Odionwere, Enigie, Oka-Idun, and others and ask them to go back to the traditional methods of vigilante.
“We have recruited 70 Vigilante [men] to complement the efforts of conventional security apparatus in the local government area.
“It was not beautiful last week. But, the way the commissioner [of police] reacted, I was so happy. He has put in so many strategies that will enhance policing in the wards and streets, as well as communities,” he said.
Addressing Stakeholders at the meeting, the state commissioner of police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, conveyed the approval of the deployment of police constabularies who had their passing out parade on Saturday, to the locality.
He said that the operatives were drawn from the various communities in Ikpoba-Okha local government area and its environs, in addition to a joint patrol team, comprising the  police, the Nigerian Army, operatives of Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
“I have also promised the local government chairman that we are also going to have the police constabularies who had their passing out parade on Saturday. They were drawn from the various communities.
“There is a downward trend of crimes and criminality in this community. We are living no stone unturned towards ensuring that we dominate the public space.
“We are having a joint patrol team, comprising the police, the army, DSS and NSCDC,” he said.
In a apparent reference to the recent attacks on some police personnel, including a deputy commissioner of police by hoodlums in the area, Mr. Kokumo, warned that “never again will anybody attack any police personnel in Edo.
“Enough is enough. We will no longer fold our arms or allow criminal elements to open fire on our men. Our personnel will use their arms professionally. We have justification to use our firearms when a life is in danger,” Kokumo emphasized.