Edo Residents Resort to Self Help as Crime Rate Surges

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

Following the upsurge in crimes due to the inability of policemen to resume at their duty posts resulting from the attacks on them during the #EndSARS protest, some residents of Edo State have constituted themselves into security guards to secure their lives and property, THISDAY investigation has revealed.

For instance, some young people in Amagba community and environ in the state have formed guard around the areas screening all vehicles going in and out of the area.

One of the youths, who spoke to THISDAY, said: “We will not wait for the miscreants and hoodlums who had made Upper Sokponba and other affected areas in Benin-city inhabitable to bring their lawlessness into our community.”

According to them, “We have resolved to join our vigilante group to patrol, check, and monitor the security situation in our community, and we will make sure that Amagba is safe for all.”

Meanwhile, the supposed miscreants have not found things easy as they have been mete out with instant justice while trying to make life difficult for the people.

So two suspected thieves caught last weekend along Sokponba Road were given jungle justice as they were killed and burnt instantly.

Another was caught by Omoruyi Street off Sapele Road, and was beaten to a pulp and left to his fate.

Similarly, at Second East Circular area of the ancient city, a young man who was caught with a locally made cut-to-size pistol had his legs mangled, preparatory to being set ablaze.

In a one minute and 58 seconds video clip of the incident shared on various social media platforms late last Saturday evening, the young man was seen with his hands tied to the back to demobilise him.

While he was being held by one of the mobs, another was seen emerging with a club. He was later clubbed to death.

When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Johnson Kokumo, said the attack on police facilities and burning of police stations and patrol vehicles during the #EndSARS protests have affected their operations.

He, however, promised that gradually the police would come back to their duty to checking crime and criminality in the state.

Kokumo said: “Take for instance, Upper Sokponba in Ikpoba-Okha axis, three police facilities were burnt down displacing the DPOs and other police officers in these divisions. These officers now report at the state command headquarters, we now send them on patrol from there so you should expect some security hitches, but we will continue to work and get things right.”