Edo States grapples with insecurity as spate of kidnapping, robberies ritual killings reach epic proportion

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By Otii Esse

MON, DECEMBER 4 2017-theG&BJournal-Insecurity is one of the concerns of the average Nigerian and has now risen to alarming proportions.

This social problem spans the totality of the nation; from assassinations, arm robbery, militia groups’ insurgency in the north, and kidnapping in the eastern and southern parts of the nation, to ritual killings in the West.

There is no denying the fact that the state of insecurity in Edo State, and Benin City in particular, is high and that the inhabitants have paid awful amounts in cash and blood to satisfy the demands of the criminals.

it is no longer news that Edo people now live in absolute fear and anxiety due to   several cases of high profile kidnapping, armed robbery and killing of innocent citizens.

Basically, the crimes of choice appear to be kidnapping and extortion. But there are a number of armed robberies and killings being carried out too and recently, unexploded bombs were discovered in Benin City.

Hardly a day passes without reports of the kidnap of a child, woman or man.

CIVIL society groups in Edo State, under the aegis of Edo Civil Society Organisations, EDOCSO, Coordinator general of the group, Mr. Omobude Agho said the cases of incessant kidnapping, armed robbery and senseless killing of citizens has killed commercial, economic and social life of the people of the state.

He insisted that if the issues are not handled as an emergency, it may lead to a situation where such menace will kill the socio-economy life wire of the state, citizens migration due to uncertainty, relocation of businesses and even a major threat to foreign investment prospects.

Just within a space of two weeks, Edo has witnessed unprecedented insecurity, while the police appeared helpless.

The forceful abduction of an environmentalist and conservationist, Andy Ehanire, younger brother to Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Health on Sunday, September 24, 2017, led to the killing of three police officers in the process.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017, with the abduction of renowned musician, Ambassador Osayomore Joseph who has set his band to play during the first coronation anniversary of Oba Ewuare II. And was released 2nd November, 2017

Recently, the Oba of Benin was so moved by the deterioration of respect for lives and property in his domain that he instructed his chiefs to explore traditional means of tackling the twin issues of kidnapping and armed robbery in the city.

Ebhodaghe Micheal was one of the victims kidnapped in Uromi Edo state. Michael returned from abroad October 2nd 2017 for the burial of his late father.

According to him, he was on his way home when a salon vehicle blocked him and drove him to an unknown destination. Every kobo they saved for their burial was taken from them to pay for his ransom.

Initially, it was the kidnapping of expatriates that was predominant in the South. But today, the situation has gotten so bad that “nobody is safe”. Serving government officials are not spared in the kidnapping menace, as their family members, relatives and friends have become worthy ‘targets’.

The state of insecurity in the country has brought about so many negative effects, including millions of internally displaced persons. This has led to political, social and economic disruptions which in turn lead to slow economic growth and development.

According to Osagie Agbonghese, an ex- military personnel said, “One of the major ways of checking security and crime in Nigeria is through the proper introduction of community policing that will boost the intelligence gathering capacity for crime prevention.

“Those to constitute the pragmatic integration may include religious leaders, youth coordinators, landlords, traditional rulers, taxi drivers, market traders, private security companies, village heads, neighbourhood vigilante and non-governmental organisation.

“This will build trust among communities in security enforcement and promote human compliant culture that will elicit an alliance and networking between local community interest groups, civil society organisations, informal police structures and the police force. It should be noted that this integration may not yield immediate desirable result unless continuous training, backed with adequate provisions of sensitive equipment to support the service.”

DCSL 90X780

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