Edo Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Tuesday, held a strategic meeting with Edo Security Network (ESN), Hunters’ Association of Nigeria and management of forest reserves in the state.
NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Aniekan Udoeyop, in his opening remarks at the meeting, held in Benin, said the meeting had become imperative, owing to the need for synergy to rid the state of criminals lurking around the forests.
This, according to him, is because the activities of the criminals in the forests have brought untold hardship to the residents, adding that if not checked, it can get worse.
“We are talking about insecurity now, but the worse that may come is food insecurity, because of the activities of criminals and bandits in our forests, farms, and bushes.
“As we speak now, how many farmers can go to their farms?
“So, if farmers can’t go to their farms because of kidnapping, raping and killing, how will you take care of yourselves, families and the state?
“The essence of coming together is for us to rub minds, because security is not one person’s business. Everyone has a quota to contribute to it,” he said.
The commandant, while appealing to residents of the state to “say something when they see something,” stressed the need for proactive measures to stem the tide of insecurity.
He noted that other states were flushing out bandits and those terrorising their forests, adding: “we will not make the mistake of making the state a safe haven for them.”
“This is why I called the forest people, the hunters and the agro-rangers, which is domiciled with NSCDC, so that together, we will comb the forests.
“We don’t want anyone to come to Edo and do business of trading with human lives through kidnapping, killing, raping and collection of ransom”.
Udoeyop further said that the command was ready to take the battle to the forests, in collaboration with the hunters, management of forest reserves and ESN.
In his remarks, the Coordinator of ESN, Dr Emmanuel Oboh, said that the organisation was prepared to join hands with NSCDC to achieve the desired goal.
Oboh, however, appealed that members of ESN should not be slighted but should be given recognition and their efforts commended.
Representative of the Director, forest reserve, Mr Unity Okundawague, called for improved tactics and measures to tackle the criminal elements. (NAN)