- Lauds military, other security forces for improved safety, security in Edo
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has called on citizens of the state to help themselves in developing the state, as the Federal Government has thrown the nation into economic crisis.
Obaseki made the call when he met with stakeholders during a workshop to discuss the implementation of the state’s new Land Use Charge Law, with the theme: “Joint Implementation of Land Use Charge by State and local governments,” at the new Festival Hall in Government House, Benin City.
He said his administration was working round the clock to ensure the state’s economic development, noting, “As a state, we can’t fold our hands and make excuses. We have to do something for our people. We will do all to ensure our people are very comfortable.
“We can do so much in Edo State. The country is in crisis economically. We can’t continue to fold our hands and wait for a country that can’t help us. Rather, we will do all we can to help ourselves and our State.”
He continued, “From our revenue, we have decided to take money from our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to look after those that can’t feed – the poorest of the poor. We are doing our best as an administration to make things easy in Edo State for our citizens who have trust in this government.”
On the need for self-reliance, he said, “If we are a truly thriving country, states will survive on their own, without relying on Abuja. Whether they give us or not, we would survive as a state. We have been surviving before now. Our administration is transparent and accountable, that is why the World Bank trusts us.”
Noting that the state was working on a 30-year Regional Master Plan, he said the plan focuses on how to bring development to Edo State, linking the rural areas to the urban centres.
Obaseki has also lauded the military and other security forces in the state for their sustained collaboration with the state government in ensuring a formidable security architecture that guarantees the protection of lives and property of Edo people as well as the safety of businesses and investments in the state.
Obaseki said this when he received the General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Valentine Uzochukwu Okoro, who led other top military personnel on a courtesy visit to the Government House, in Benin City.
He said, “We want to thank your men for the support and assistance they continue to render to us in Edo to secure our state. The Brigade Command and your men in Benin and across the State are very active players in our Security Council and security architecture. We have enjoyed a very warm and cordial relationship with them and we do all to make sure they are comfortable.
“I thank you for giving the permission for the Army to be part of the squad that is training our vigilante network as we just completed the training of 1,500 of our men. From inception, the military has been part of designing the programme, helping us with the screening and things we need to do properly.”
The governor continued, “Please thank the Chief of Army Staff for the approval we received to build Forward Operational Base (FOB) in the State. The FOB in Ehor is almost ready and we would like to go through you to ask that he comes to commission what he has started.
“That deployment has helped us tremendously in the state because, before the deployment, the incident of kidnapping on that axis of the road was bad. We have now seen the direct benefits of having the military support our security efforts.
“Also, we want to thank the Chief of Army Staff and tell him that when he comes, he should use the opportunity to do the second foundation laying for the FOB in Sobe which has been approved, and also the operations taken in that axis which has been very successful reducing the number of incidents of kidnapping and activities of bandits in that area significantly.”
Obaseki added, “We are anxious to start the building of the FOB there so that the men can be stationed there. Unfortunately, some of the bandits displaced from this area have moved up North towards the Akoko-Edo axis and increased the incidents in these areas. We thank you for the operation you have commenced this week. I am sure you will help us get more resources from the Auchi Brigade to support the efforts in that area.”
Earlier, Okoro commended the governor for his support and the conducive environment created for the officers and men of the military to effectively perform their duties of securing lives and property in the state.
He said, “I recently assumed command of 2 Division and decided to visit formation to familiarise myself with the operating environment. Thank you for what you have done to mitigate power supply in our cantonment and for other support to our men in Edo State. I assure you of the collaboration of the Army to check security and ensure citizens live in a secured environment.”