OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR GODWIN OBASEKI ON INSECURITY IN EDO STATE:
Happy and prosperous New Year sir!
I trust you are in good health as much as your family.
It has become a collective concern for every freeborn of Edo state on the current state of insecurity of lives and property in our Edo state.
This is so, because no other place to be called ours.
It’s a shared responsibility we cannot shy away from hence it’s pertinent I do my bit towards the betterment of our state.
Yes, the surge in criminal activities have been ascribed to the jailbreaks during the EndSARS protests on one hand and the weak federal government policing structure on the other hand.
The people that have elected you as governor are expectant and wouldn’t want any excuse from their chief security officer.
Sir, no matter the direct investment drive into the state and infrastructural development pursuit in any society, the absence of security will bring all to naught.
Security is a sine qua non to socio-economic growth and development which I believe you are very much abreast with.
This open letter is not to condemn what your administration didn’t do right or not but to critique and explore my perspective of options to resolving the worrisome dimension criminal activities in our dear state have assumed.
I strongly believe governance is collective and not to the exclusivity of the elected alone.
In 2017 when there was a similar situation, members of Edo Civil Society Organisations took to the street to draw your attention and that of the state House of Assembly to the plights being faced by Edo people.
Afterwards, you launched the ‘Operation Wabaizigan’ security architecture wherein Edo people’s money was used to purchase operational vehicles for the security outfits in the state.
The outcome was that, the vehicles were used for ‘revenue collection’ by some of the security personnel such as chasing after suspected Internet Fraudsters, mounting roadblocks and extorting motorists and their likes were the order of the day leaving the fundamental purpose they were purchased which was to respond to violent crimes.
As at this moment, a larger number of the vehicles are no longer operational even as some say it is due to the fact that government purchased the wrong vehicles and lack of maintenance.
For all it’s worth, the project appears to be a failed one.
The thrust of this open letter is to specifically draw your attention to the need to engage the relevant persons and institutions in addressing the seemly unabated insecurity threats in Edo state.
First in my propose list are, Edo born retired security experts, the likes of DIG Parry Osayande, IGP Solomon Arase and a host of others with police and military backgrounds.
Community leaders, Traditional rulers, professional bodies like NBA, NMA etc and grassroots civil society actors should form the brain box and solution base to the current challenge before us.
The reliance on a federal security arrangement alone will not provide the expected result.
We can easily relate with how DIG Parry Osayande was able to dismantle one of the most dreaded criminal gang in Nigeria led by Lawrence Anini in the 80s and the cleansing IGP Solomon Arase did to cult crisis and other related criminal activities during previous government.
These feats were achieved simply because they were passionate about their place of birth, given the opportunity to serve at such leadership level.
The killing, maiming, robbery, raping and kidnapping within and on our highways are no longer what anyone can easily wish away.
Deliberate steps and actions must be taken to build confidence in the people once again.
The strength of any leader is the ability to identify and utilize the capabilities of others in achieving a set goal for the overall benefit of everyone.
Sir, this is the time to look inwards for the solutions to our insecurity challenges.
We have sons and daughters that understand the issues and can also proffer solutions to same even with passion and commitment.
Your excellency, you can do less and achieve more when you give responsibilities to those who are experts in certain fields with track records and their passion is unwavering.
I hope my contribution finds expression in action as I hope and pray daily for peace and tranquility in my state.
@views exclusive right: Leftist Osazee Edigin, Two time Public Relations Officer of Edo Civil Society Organisations and Coordinator of Action for Socio-political and Economic Change (ASEC).