Security Agencies Set to Flush Out ‘Youth Leaders’, Cultists in Edo after Attack on Soldiers

•Obaseki mourns passing of medicine professor, Vincent Iyawe

The Edo state security council yesterday said it had concluded plans to commence the disarming and flushing out of cultists, hoodlums and ‘youth leaders’ otherwise known as Okaigheles in all communities across the state.

Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, who disclosed this in a statement, said the move followed the ban on the activities of the ‘criminal groups’ by the state security council.

This, he said is coming on the back of data that linked the groups to the alarming rise in cult-related killings and homicides in the state as well as the recent attack on soldiers in Okomu community by the suspects.

Two soldiers and a police officer were on June 7 shot in Okomu community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of the state by suspected cultists.

Osagie noted: “The Edo State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has directed that the security council intensifies efforts to disarm and flush out all cultists and Okaigheles across the state.

“The security agencies are set and ready to begin massive raids across all communities in the state to disarm these criminal elements and neutralise their threat against public peace.”

The government while reaffirming its decision to ban the groups in Edo South communities, said the state security council data showed that the two groups (Okaigheles and cultists) posed the most severe threat to the security and stability of the state, resulting in the decision of the council to place a total ban on the criminal groups.

The statement cited the attack on soldiers wherein “some so-called youths opened fire on three men of the Nigerian Army attached to Okomu Oil Palm Plc., in Ovia South West Local Government Area, injuring them and throwing the community into pandemonium,” as some examples of the threat on public peace by the criminal groups.

“In the coming weeks, the government will proceed on a full-scale operation to disarm these criminal elements and neutralise their threat against public peace. Government therefore warns in the strongest terms that it will not allow any individual or organisation, no matter how highly placed to undermine the efforts of the state security council to protect the lives and property of our people.

“We reiterate that the activities of cultists, Okaigheles, and their sponsors remain banned in the state and we will spare no effort to ensure that those who flout the ban are made to face the full weight of the Law,” the statement added.

Obaseki, has also hailed teachers in the state for their commitment and support for his administration’s reforms and programmes in the education sector over the past seven and half years, leading to the gains recorded in revamping the system and deepening quality education in the state.

Obaseki spoke in an address to teachers at the Edo Teachers for Tech Conference, held at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative, in Benin City, as part of events lined up to commemorate the 2024 Education Week.

The governor, who reeled the impact of his administration’s programmes and reforms in education, said the gains recorded will be sustained with the emergence of a credible and competent successor who is able to make the necessary sacrifice for the betterment of the State and its people.

According to him, “EdoBEST is sustainable if only we vote and elect people that know what to do when they are in charge of government. That is the only way to sustain the education reforms in Edo State. The decision you make on the 21st of September 2024 will determine the sustainability of the reforms in the education sector.

“We must make sure we participate and elect a man who means well for the Edo people and is able to make sacrifices for us. What we have done in EdoBEST and other areas are sustainable, if only leaders at all levels care enough to make sacrifices.”

Meanwhile Obaseki, has mourned the passing of the former Provost of the College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, current Provost of the College of Medical Sciences at the Benson Idahosa University and Bishop at the Church of God Mission, Prof. Vincent Iyawe.

In a statement, Obaseki described Iyawe as an emblem of excellence who achieved remarkable success in the various endeavours he pursued, contributing effectively to societal development.

The governor said as a professor of the College of Medical Sciences at the University of Benin, he contributed exceptionally to grooming and mentoring a generation of medical professionals who have continued to strengthen the healthcare sector both in our dear state and the nation.

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