The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that his administration is concluding plans to commence the issuance of identification cards to residents across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state as a part of measures to check insecurity.
According to Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser on Media Projects to Obaseki, the governor disclosed this while addressing stakeholders at a security meeting held in Auchi, Etsako West LGA of the state.
Obaseki said, “We are launching the Edo State Resident Identification System. Every resident in Edo must have an identity card. The identity card will be linked to the Biometric Verification Number so that we know who is who.
“With this, if anything happens, we can follow up. We are not saying that we will not accept visitors. We are not saying that we are going to send people away, but if you must live with us, we must know you.
“We must have the addresses of all the markets in our local government areas. The idea of markets just erupting in people’s houses and without them being registered must stop. All such markets must be closed. The laws specified how markets can be set up.
“If there is a fire incident tomorrow, we can’t even get there. People will be shouting that we have lost our goods, and because we didn’t register that place as a market, we are unable to provide the facilities like water and all the things you need for people to trade there.”
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Obaseki continued, “These markets never seem to close. Are markets not supposed to close? Don’t they have a closing and opening time? But these markets never close. People live there. Investigations carried out by security personnel show that all sorts of things happen there when these markets are supposed to have closed.”
“We will have to close down all unregistered markets. If you want a place as a market, the local government council must do the needful and also provide them with relevant facilities for a proper market,” the governor noted.
Speaking on the role of vigilantes in tackling insecurity in the state, Obaseki said the training of the first batch of 500 vigilantes will commence on August 22nd at the Nigeria Police Barracks in Ogida, noting that only registered vigilante groups will benefit from the initiative.
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“On September 12, each local government will give us the list of everybody they have registered to operate as motorcycle or tricycle riders.
“Effective the following Monday, we will start to enforce the rules that anybody who has not registered cannot operate as Okada and Keke NAPEP riders. We have agreed that we will provide additional logistics for security operations in Edo North, particularly the provision of more motorcycles for the rural areas.
On the anti-grazing law, the governor assured, “By the end of August, members of the committee for enforcement and implementation of the anti-grazing law will be inaugurated. Open grazing has been banned in Edo since the 27th of May this year.”
Commending the efforts of security personnel on bush combing, the governor lauded the security operatives for continually carrying out surveillance operations in all the forests in the state, noting, “I understand that the bush combing exercise has been on and it has been successful. However, we have had some incidents since the last meeting, our monthly security meeting has revealed some flash points where these activities are more.”
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In his contribution, the Olokpe of Okpe Kingdom in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo, His Royal Highness, Oba Idogu III, commended the governor for his prompt intervention in tackling insecurity in the state.
Also speaking, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Deke Kanoba, the Egiegbai II of Ekperi kingdom, in Etsako Central Local Government Area of the state, urged security personnel to cooperate with vigilante groups in providing security in rural areas.