Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, disclosed that the state government has concluded plans to comb forests in the state for killer herdsmen, as it intensifies efforts to weed out criminals from the state.
He stated this when he led heads of security agencies on a fact-finding visit to Ugo Community in Orhionmwon Council, where he commiserated with families of who lost their lives to herdsmen attacks.
His words: “I am here with the Commissioner of Police (CP), Philip Agbadu, and heads of other security agencies to commiserate with you. This is to tell you how serious we take what has happened in Ugo. We are here to commiserate with you, let you know that we feel your pains, and that as a government we are concerned and worried about the situation.
“The major role of any government is to protect life and property of citizens. We are here to find out for ourselves what actually happened and to take certain decisions.
“I know this is not the first time it has happened, but we want to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen again. I thank you for being law-abiding citizens and for not taking the laws into your hands.”
Obaseki reassured the residents of his administration’s commitment to check the activities of killer herdsmen in the state, noting: “I assure you that an operation will be carried out. I am happy with the number of vigilantes in the community, which means that you have enough information. We are not against the presence of anybody who wants to do legitimate business here.
“We are only saying that if they want to come and graze, they must do it legally and lawfully.”Obaseki further explained that the state government would initiate an operation through which it would evacuate anybody who is not supposed to be in the forests, adding: “Good enough, there is information about their location and they cannot be more armed than the military.
“We cannot bring back those we have lost. All we can do is to ensure that we do not lose many more lives. We will support the Council Chairman, Sylvester Okoro, to help and support the families of the deceased.
“Rest assured that the heads of security agencies have a track record. They are senior officers with experience that will help us secure our state. We will deal with the security situation and we will identify the criminals.
“We don’t want to join issues with those who are taking advantage of the situation on the Internet, as they are posting all sorts of fake and false information.”