By Ozioruva Aliu, Benin-City
The governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki yesterday said the 10 pm to 6 am curfew imposed in the state as a result of the violent turn of #EndSARS protest was still in force and therefore urged security agencies in the state to reinforce it to check the activities of hoodlums and criminals.
This is coming on the heels of the reported kidnapping of the chairman of Esan Central local government area, Professor Waziri Edokpa along the Benin – Auchi road while he was said to be travelling to Irrua, headquarters of the local government after attending a meeting in Benin City.
Obaseki spoke when he received the General Officer Commanding 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Anthony Bamidele Omozoje, at the Government House, Benin City which visit was to inform the governor on plans by the military to embark on a seven-day heightened security operation to fish out criminal elements in the state.
Flanked by the newly reappointed Secretary to State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie Esq., Obaseki thanked the Chief of Army Staff and other senior security officers for refusing to be compromised and ensured that Edo had a free, fair and credible election adding that their actions have saved and sustained democracy in the State and Nigeria.
He said “We have a subsisting curfew in Edo, which is being breached. To support your seven-day heightened security effort, we are reinforcing the curfew from 10 pm to 6 am daily. The town should be on lockdown and anyone found outside within this period should be dealt with according to the law.”
Obaseki, who assured of the government’s support, thanked the commanding officer for the moves made, which he said would ensure normalcy is restored in the State ahead of the yuletide season.
He noted: “We will increase consultations with various stakeholders, traditional rulers, youth groups and religious leaders over the seven-day operation to sensitize them and solicit for their support, cooperation and information to help rearrest the fleeing inmates from our correctional centres.
Speaking earlier, Major Omozoje said he is in the state to collaborate with other sister security agencies to see how to consolidate on the gains being made in curbing the rate of criminality witnessed after the EndSARS protests.
“We need to go actively after these criminals in order not to give them the liberty to operate. The seven days heightened security operation will involve all security agencies to arrest criminals and recover arms and ammunition.”
Meanwhile, details of the kidnap of Edokpa is still sketchy but chairmen of local government councils in Edo South had a closed-door meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo on the development but the outcome was not made public as at the time of filing this report.
Vanguard News Nigeria