Improved Security Situation In Edo State
By ISEBEMOEH JAMES ROY Last update 10-10-2011
Edo State for a very long time was caught up in the web of anti-social vices, such as armed robbery, prostitution and human trafficking, Right from the days when the people of the state, especially Benin City had to face the criminal activities perpetuated by the notorious armed robbers, Lawrence Anini and Monday Osunbor, crime waves have been on the increase. Even with the military at the helm of affairs, crime rate in the state did not go down to an appreciable level. The institution of civilian rule since May, 1999 did not help matters either.
Thus, prostitution and armed robbery conspired to frustrate the much desired security and peace of the people of the state and this to a large extent determined the quantum of business activities and investments in any given area. The level of poor industrialization of Benin and other parts of the state may not be unconnected to the above reasoning.
Indeed, the aforementioned social vices did not only affect economic activities in the state, they also portrayed a bad image of Edo in the comity of Nigerian states. Although it has been argued in certain quarters that the strategic geographical location of the state, which makes it a gateway to the South/South, South/East, South/West and North/Central, makes it easier for criminals from other state to invade Edo State; citizens of the state have had cause to hope for a time when crime rate will be reduced to its barest minimum.
However, the police remain the constitutional agency responsible for the maintenance of law and order, therefore crime control and prevention fall within the police constituency. Most times, the complex nature of policing in Nigeria has exposed the authorities to the whims of social critics and human rights activists. It is however a fact that the police in Nigeria is under funded, especially when the state of her obsolete equipment and facilities is considered. The poor welfare of its personnel can not also be ignored. Besides, the corruption which affects every segment of the Nigerian society did not spare this all important agency.
Now, the situation in Edo is gradually improving. The reason is that a good and purposeful government that match actions with words is now in place in Edo State. Although the police is a federal government institution, the ability of the state government to create a conducive atmosphere towards its performance and efficiency cannot be put aside. Thus, the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had promised to ensure the provision of adequate security of life and property in his electioneering campaign days. He obviously had the police in mind and today we are beginning to see the results.
Apart from placing the people in perpetual fear, kidnapping activities discourage foreign and local investment, which the state urgently require.
The picture that now emerge is such that the state government and the police have adopted good security measures, crime prevention and control which are now yielding results. The war against human trafficking and prostitution is making much success to Edo State. Human traffickers and prostitutes no longer find safe haven in Edo State.
The state government pledged the sum of N2 million to any person who could provide useful information that will enable the police to arrest kidnappers in Edo State. The above spurred some people into action and provided information to the police. This has led to the arrest of a number of suspected kidnappers by the police. The same thing is applicable to armed robbery where many suspects have also been arrested in the past three months. Recently, the police uncovered a secret armoury in Benin and arrest have also been made. The government has since fulfilled its pledged.
The effort, diligence and professional competence of the Edo State Commissioner of police, Alhaji Danlami Yar’Adua need to be commended. He has proved that the police can work well and achieve results within its limited resources but in a conducive atmosphere. Fear and tension which was the lot of many in habitant of the state especially Benin is gradually giving way for peace and stability. It behoves on the people of Edo State to support both government and the police not only to sustain this development but improve on it.