- Army deploys personnel to flash points
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City and James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives wednesday passed a motion urging the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to immediately intervene in the current security challenges in Edo State by releasing all kidnapped victims as well as arrest the culprits involved in acts of criminality.
It also called on the police boss to urgently beef up security and increase surveillance in Benin City and the state in general to guarantee the safety of lives and property of residents.
Furthermore, the lawmakers called on Idris to carry out an audit of policing activities in the state and mandated the Committees on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance.
The resolution of the House was consequent upon a motion sponsored by Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Hon. Peter O. Akpatasan and Hon. Sergious O. Ogun on the need to check the incessant kidnapping and assassination in Benin City.
The lawmakers noted the precarious security situation in Benin City and its environs over the past weeks, stressing that the primary objective of government is to ensure security and welfare of citizens, a responsibility that cannot be compromised by leaderships at all levels.
They further expressed concern that the upsurge in kidnapping, killings and other unreported criminal activities that are being carried out freely by well-armed bandits in Benin City and other parts of the state was leaving residents with deep apprehension.
They also stressed the need to urgently call the attention of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to beef up security and increase surveillance in the state in order to arrest the reign of terror in the state.
The lawmakers also cited the case of Rev. Fr Lawrence Adorolo of St. Benedict Catholic Church, Auchi Diocese who was kidnapped on September 27, 2017; as well as Mr. Andy Ehanire, the CEO of Ogba zoo who was kidnapped on September 24, 2017.
The three policemen attached to the Zoo were reportedly killed in the process and their arms carted away by the kidnappers.
Other victims of terror include Osayomore Joseph, a renowned Bini musician who was kidnapped on October 3, 2017; and Professor Paul Otasowie of the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Benin who was killed on October 4, 2017 while being kidnapped.
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki yesterday disclosed that the Nigerian Army has since deployed its personnel to flash-point areas in Benin City and other areas to forestall reoccurrence.
He said: “We have useful information about those who we suspect, were involved in the incidents of last few weeks. I want to assure Edo people that normalcy has been restored and they will not likely see the occurrence of such incident again.”
Security concerns arose in Edo in the past few weeks following the killing of three police officers attached to the Chief Executive Officer of Ogba Zoological Garden, Mr. Andy Ehanire and his subsequent kidnap of a prominent musician, Osayomore Joseph.
Also last week, a professor of engineering, University of Benin, Prof. Paul Otasowie, was assassinated by unknown gunmen right in from of his residence.
The incidents led to protest in Abuja by Edo indigenes calling for the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, Haliru Gwandu Abubakar.
Fielding questions from journalists at Government House on the measures his administration has in place to check the violent crimes in the state, Obaseki said he would meet and discuss with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Mongonu, on ways of tackling the upsurge in criminal activities in parts of the state.
He said the meeting with the NSA would provide the opportunity for him to discuss areas of security collaboration, and raise the bar in intelligence gathering and proactive surveillance in the state.
The governor therefore, called on residents of the state to go about their normal businesses without panic, and assured that adequate arrangements have been made to effectively tackle the recent upsurge in security challenges experienced in the state.
He added that all arms of government would need to collaborate in sharing of intelligence and trust to ensure efficient security arrangement in Nigeria.