CIVIL society groups in Edo State, under the aegis of Edo Civil Society Organisations, EDOCSO, have given a 14-day ultimatum to the state government, Edo State House of Assembly and the Nigeria Police Force to put an end to the spate of insecurity in the state.
Coordinator general of the group, Mr. Omobude Agho who addressed newsmen in Benin, yesterday shortly after a protest march across major streets in the state capital, said the decision to give those concerned with the security of the citizens 14 days ultimatum and also embark on the protest was reached at a general assembly held weekend at its headquarters where they all agreed that the spate of crime in the state was unprecedented.
He said it was no longer news that Edo people now lives in absolute fear and anxiety due to several cases of high profile kidnapping, armed robbery and killing of innocent citizens.
He said the case of note among others was the abduction of Mr. Andrew Ehanire, younger brother of the Minster of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire where three policemen were killed and the recent was the abduction of Amb. Osayomore Joseph, a Benin based musician.
The coordinator general said the cases of incessant kidnapping, armed robbery and senseless killing of citizens has killed commercial, economic and social life of the people of the state.
He insisted that if the issues were not handled as an emergency, it may lead to a situation that will finally kill the socio-economy life wire of the state, citizens migration due to uncertainty, relocation of businesses and even a major threat to foreign investment prospects as being canvassed by the present administration.
Agho lamented that with the way things are, it appeared that there were no strong synergy between the state government and the state police command thereby creating the avenue for the hoodlums to carry out their crimes in the state.
The group listed their other demands as follow: “That the commissioner of police, Edo State should step up his game in the fight against criminals and protection of lives and property of citizens.
“That the police officers should focus more on the afford mentioned security issues rather than chasing after Internet fraudsters in a bid to fattening their own pockets
“That the governor must be reminded that as the chief security officer of the state, it is his primary responsibility to protect the lives and property of citizens as part of the social contract with the people.
“That we are aware of the N4billion in the Edo State 2017 budget earmarked for security vote. We are requesting that the governor should explain to Edo people how he has expended it in line with the doctrine of public accountability and transparency.
“That as a matter of urgency more than ever, the government must organize and strengthen the local vigilantes and set up a proper Neighbourhood Watch devoid of political patronage to assist the security agencies.
“That the government must be sincere in creating Sustainable jobs and opportunities for its teeming youth to attain crime rate reduction in our state.
“That the government must support and synergies with security agencies, especially the police and initiate a process of establishing a security trust fund in Edo State.
“That we are calling on Edo State House of Assembly to call for an urgent Town Hall meeting where all stakeholders can deliberate on the current security challenges facing our state and chart the way forward without delay.
“that we are equally calling on the Federal Government to play its role in ensuring that the Nigeria Police Force gets its full annual budgetary allocations in order to carry out its constitutional duties”
Responding, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Adjoto Kabiru, who commended them on their peaceful protest, said the government is on top of the situation.
He urged the group to sensitize the public on the need to be security conscious and also report any suspicious element to the security agencies as the government cannot do it all alone.
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