Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called for increased partnership between the government and churches as well as other religious organizations to checkmate criminal activities in the state and protect the residents.
Obaseki gave the charge on Thursday while receiving Christian leaders led by the Edo State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Oyenude Kure, on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
The governor urged the leaders to form security committees spread across the security grid to work with the already existing security structures in the state to check criminal activities, especially during the festive period.
He noted: “Like you did with COVID-19, we encourage you to develop a security Committee in the Church to work with the government on security to checkmate the security situation in the state. The church must be part of our security arrangements.
“By next week, the command and control center in the state will come alive and we are activating security cameras to check criminality in the state. Be rest assured that my administration will secure Edo people.
“We will be publicizing the emergency response numbers that you will call for emergency. We have increased the numbers of security patrol teams in the Benin-Auchi Road to check criminal activities in the axis, especially at this festive period. We will watch the next few days and begin to relax the curfew as we enter the festive period.”
The governor continued: “We have graduated the first set of 800 community policing personnel; they are going through training with the Directorate of State Security (DSS) this week and by next week, they will undergo the training of the Military.
“We are working with EdoGIS on a security map of the state, particularly Benin Metropolitan area and will be having a section with you on how to improve our security architecture.
We require the cooperation of the church. There is a church in every grid and will call on you to support the structure we are putting on the ground linking the structure with the community policing arrangements we have.
“I want to assure you that our administration has hit the ground running and no matter how difficult the challenges are, we are up to the task of dealing with it.
“Edo people have given us their mandate; we are not afraid and will do only that which is right before the Lord. We will reset Edo and make sure we begin to do things properly,” he added.
On his part, Bishop Oyenude Kure, while congratulating the governor for his victory at the September 19 governorship election, noted: “It was a well-deserved victory because of your passion, commitment and very positive exploit in Edo State. Edo people spoke at the election and voted for you massively and will continue to stand with you as you lead the state to higher heights.
“The church will continue to partner with your administration to ensure it succeeds on its people-oriented projects and policies which have been beneficial to Edo people.”