As part of efforts to tackle rising insecurity to safeguard lives and property in Edo State, government officials on Monday met with traditional, religious and community leaders in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) to chart a path on the new community-based security scheme in the area.
This is as the first batch of 877 of the 2000 community constables trained at the Nigeria Police Training School are being deployed to various communities to work with local community arrangements to ensure effective coordination and keep criminals out of the state.
Present at the meeting, which took place at the Council’s Secretariat in Idogbo, were elders, dukes (Enigie), religious and opinion leaders and the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo.
The stakeholders also inaugurated the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Council Vigilante to assist security personnel in fighting crime in the area.
Chairman of Ikpoba-Okha LGA, Dr. Eric Osayande, who spoke to journalists after the meeting, noted: “The Governor had given us a directive that we must call all the Odionwere, Enigie, Oka-Idun and other stakeholders to ask them to go back to the traditional methods of Vigilante.”
“We have recruited 70 Vigilante to complement the efforts of conventional security apparatus in the Local Government”, he said.
Addressing stakeholders at the meeting, Kokumo, conveyed the approval of the deployment of police constables who had their passing out parade on Saturday to the locality.
He said the operatives were drawn from the various communities in Ikpoba-Okha LGA and its environs, in addition to a joint patrol team, comprising the military, 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 constables who had their passing out parade on Saturday here. They were drawn from the various communities.”
According to him, “There is a downward trend of crime 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 military, the Army, DSS and the NSCDC.”
The state police chief, Kokumo, warned that “never again will anybody attack any police personnel in Edo. Enough is enough”.
He stressed that: “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 a justification to use our firearms when a life is in danger.”