By John Ewah
The uncompromised safety of Edo residents is at the core of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration.
While the issue of security in Edo has been painted with diverse political colourations, many residents of the state can testify that the state remains one of the most peaceful in the country.
This rating stemmed from the state government’s efforts in making Edo uninhabitable for criminals.
Besides setting up a comprehensive security architecture and network, including a well equipped network of local vigilantes, Governor Obaseki has demonstrated unwavering commitment towards the welfare of Edo people by elevating and boosting security in the state through the deployment of crime-fighting technology.
Today the Edo State Command and Control Centre is fully digitized, granting citizens direct access to government in times of distress.
The Obaseki administration has maintained its grip on sustaining and improving a peaceful and business-friendly atmosphere in the state. The influx of criminal elements from neighboring states has been tackled with adequate security measures, as Edo State today, remains the safest state in the South-south region of the country. Threats to peace in the state such as banditry, kidnapping, terrorism and other forms of social vices have been nipped in the bud.
Despite the fact that security is on the Exclusive Legislative List, Governor Godwin Obaseki found a way to strengthen partnership with the federal security agencies right from the onset of his administration when he set up ‘Operation Wabaizigan’, which has input from the local vigilante network.
The security outfit relies on information and intelligence from the people. According to Obaseki, any security strategy that does not involve the people on ground in the various communities will not succeed.
Obaseki adopted this strategy of incorporating the local vigilante network into the security architecture to protect Edo people from the activities of bandits, terrorists and other criminal elements.
However, while the government is saddled with the responsibility of providing the right administrative framework for security and the dispensation of justice to all who are found wanting, as well as setting in place, structures geared towards curbing crimes and criminality, the public owes the state a duty to report and expose criminals in their domains at all times.
The Vigilante network has been largely localised by the Obaseki administration to enable easy information exchange between residents and security agencies.
The Edo State Command and Control Center has also been put in place to grant the public access to quick response in case of an emergency. This has created a synergy between the government and the people, contributing immensely to the mitigation of criminal activities in the state.
It is however the desire of the Obaseki administration to see to the eradication of crime in Edo State. The approach so far adopted by the Edo State Government towards security in the state is a fundamental part of the master plan to make Edo safe for all.
Ewah writes from Benin City