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Obaseki urges intelligence gathering, community collaboration to combat crime

…charges citizens to protect govt assets in their communities

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called for stakeholders and community collaboration to combat crime in the state, reiterating the need for communities to share information with security agencies to improve security and ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens.

Obaseki, who restated the government’s commitment to ensure lasting peace and safety in the state, noted that security must be localized for it to be effective.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, said this during an enlarged Town Hall Security Meeting in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state, to find a lasting solution to the security situation in the area.

According to him, “the present administration under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki believes that security must be localized to guarantee the safety of lives and properties, hence the setting up of a security network to assist the police in the fight against crimes and criminalities across the state.”

He maintained that community policing gives more sense of security to local dwellers and integrates the mainstream security agencies as part of the neighborhood through the exchange of vital security Information.

The governor noted, “Efforts of the government can only yield the expected outcome when community members assume their responsibility by furnishing security agents with useful information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of these criminal elements.

“Edo State is known for its great sense of hospitality where we welcome people, but some elements are trying to invade our midst because we are accommodating. We must collectively resist any of such attempts by aligning ourselves with the goals of promoting a strong community neighborhood through timely information circulation".

The governor further urged members of the community to re-enact old values where government properties in their domain are protected and guarded against vandalization, adding, "While we are just leaders of the government, development in the communities is brought about by taxpayers' money. As such, we must claim ownership of the government's effort to give value to investment and avoid allowing others to destroy government properties and development in your environment.”

"When everyone guards his/her street and every community member protects the community, then the local government will be safe, and once our local government is safe, we all will have a safer state. That is the essence of collaboration.”

Earlier in his remarks, Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Philip Ogbadu noted that community members have a responsibility to protect their area, appealing for useful information to help security agencies tackle insecurity.

Noting the need for collaboration, Ogbadu said, "A community leader in Ovia Federal Constituency and Security Stakeholders in Edo State has agreed to empower and equip the various vigilante groups in the area to arrest the spate of kidnappings around the Benin-Ore Expressway.”

On his part, Coordinator, Edo State Security Network, Haruna Yusuf said the Edo State government has bridged the gap of quick response to security issues with the establishment of the Edo State Community Vigilante Network as an intervention to community security concerns.

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