Edo State Government has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to enhancing the capacity of the state’s security personnel, who are at the forefront of its efforts to combat crime and ensure that Edo remains a safe place to live and do business.
Governor Godwin Obaseki remarked during the passing out parade ceremony of 1,500 vigilante operatives and hunters of the Edo State Security Vigilante Network, which took place on August 9, 2023, at the Police Training Academy, situated in Ogida Barracks, Egor Local Government area of Edo State.
In his address, the Governor expressed satisfaction over the training program’s success and extended gratitude to all contributors who played a role in bringing the event to fruition.
Obaseki said, “I am delighted today to join you in this passing out parade of the Edo State Security Vigilante Network. This is a significant milestone in our renewed effort to strengthen the security system in Edo State; to guarantee the safety and security of our people and their businesses.
Today we graduated another batch, making it about 2074 trainees; the first batch was about 574, and now we have trained another 1500. These personnel have undergone weeks of intensive and comprehensive training.”
The Governor emphasized that security is pivotal in economic and social development. He noted that his administration is committed to investing in human capital and technological advancements within the state’s security architecture.
This investment aims to equip security personnel with the knowledge and skills required to effectively address the evolving challenges of the security landscape.
Obaseki noted: “As a government, we are aware of security’s role in our economic and socio-economic development. Therefore, we understand that we must continue investing to secure our state. This is why we have sustained effort to build a capable and well-trained security network across the state and to ensure that they have the adequate knowledge and skills to effectively deal with the challenges of the rapidly changing security landscape.”
Governor Obaseki further urged the newly graduated trainees to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during the training in securing their respective communities. He emphasized the importance of professionalism and responsibility in the execution of their duties.
“You have been trained and given the necessary information to go back to your various communities to support our security arrangement in your communities and local government areas. You must let your Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) know your movement and any operation you participate in. We will not be happy to hear complaints from members of the public of harassment by members of the vigilante security network”, Obaseki said.
Delighted about the success of the training program, the Governor noted: “We are glad about the success which we have so far recorded, particularly regarding this training; today Edo is not just one of the safest and most secure states to live and do business in, but we are providing a model for other sub-nationals in the country on how governance can boost economic growth and development by strengthening its security.”
“Your role is beyond contributing to maintaining law and order and security in the state; you are responsible for building bridges of trust within your community while serving as our eyes and ears in your various communities. I implore you to imbibe the values of discipline, integrity and unwavering patriotism required to effectively deliver on your roles of securing our state”, Obaseki added.
Acknowledging the importance of community policing, Obaseki explained: “We recognize the peculiar needs of a decentralized and participatory security model; this is the current trend in the world, and we are glad that the Inspector General of Police supports the idea of community policing.
When citizens have the power to take ownership of their safety, they become an integral part and partners in preventing and addressing the security concerns in their communities.
This bottom-up approach to security ensures that the security measures we put in place changed to the unique needs of each community, therefore fostering a sense of ownership and commitment among our people.”
The Governor also noted the importance of collaborating with other agencies, a reason behind the state government’s investment in the Police Training Academy.
The Governor thanked the Inspector General of Police, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, and all those who have worked with the state to design the training program for the vigilante and hunters’ network members.
He also expressed gratitude to various agencies and organizations, including the Nigeria Army, Nigeria Correctional Service, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and local communities, for their continuous support in strengthening security efforts.
In his address, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, CP Adamu Mohammed Dankwara, represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, lauded the state government for its investment in the Police Training Academy facilities and for organizing the comprehensive training program.
He commended the Governor for his commitment to policing, emphasizing that the Edo State Police Command would greatly benefit from these efforts.
He said, “I reported here on January 1 2021, and I know what it looked like. Today we are seeing a different colouration of the Academy. This is a state government program, and we all know the Edo State Police Command would strongly benefit from it. We must sincerely appreciate His Excellency, the Governor, for his support towards policing and the facelift he has given us, especially in this Academy. It is important to let you know that the training was all-encompassing.”
He admonished the graduated trainees to serve as neighbourhood watches in their communities, ensuring that they are close to their various communities in whatever they do, carry their DPOs along in all operations, hand over every arrest made to the police immediately, absolve themselves from local politics and strictly adhere to the approved uniforms at all times for easy identification.