The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is firming up strategies to evolve a vigilante outfit that would form part of the base of the state’s security architecture as part of moves to check farmer-herder clashes in the state.
Obaseki disclosed this while briefing journalists on the outcome of the state monthly Security Council Meeting held at the Government House in Benin City, on Wednesday.
The governor said the security meeting reviewed a wide range of security issues in the state particularly the farmers-herders’ clashes, noting that the state is doing all that was needed to strengthen the state security architecture with a view of reducing crimes to the barest minimum.
“We want to create a standard operating procedure for vigilantes to form a part of the base security system in the state. The Department of State Security (DSS) and Police are working with the state government to come up with a framework for the vigilantes so they can work in the community policing structure of the Nigerian Police Force,” he said.
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The governor added that the condition of inmates in the state was also reviewed to ensure continuous decongestion of correctional centres in the state.
He said the state would convene a Special State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting, to be held on Monday, March 23 to deliberate on ways to sustain the state’s economy amid the growing threat of the pandemic.
According to him, “During the meeting on Monday, our position on Covid-19 would be finalised and the state’s decision would be made known to members of the public.”
The governor said that specific actions on the spread of coronavirus would be taken on Monday, March 23 after discussions with the federal government, noting, “At that point, we will be able to decide what policies and social distances that will apply in the state, how to improve contact tracing for suspected cases and also monitor those coming into the state.”
He said at the weekly EXCO meeting held on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the council members decided that expenditure would have to be curtailed as the Coronavirus pandemic persists, adding “We looked at areas where we need to improve revenue and we also looked at how to communicate decisions taken to the public.”