By Monday Ajogun
Benin, Aug. 7, 2020 Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Friday in Benin condemned acts of political thuggery and violence in the state, saying that the state security council had vowed to withdraw police protecting non-state actors.
Obaseki, who spoke after a closed-door meeting with security chiefs in the state, expressed concern over the rising security challenges ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
“We condemn the high level of thuggery, violence and increasing influx of arms into the state.
“The Commissioner of Police briefed the council on the situation at the Edo House of Assembly that led to some illegal and treasonable acts by some individuals.
“The security personnel have assured us of their readiness to secure and tackle any security challenges faced by the state.
“They are up to the task; they have the men and materials to take charge. They assured us and the good people of Edo of adequate security,” he said.
The governor further said that the state security chiefs had assured government that they would protect everyone irrespective of political affliction.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo, said that the command had reviewed the security situation in the last few weeks.
“We have talked about political violence and thuggery; we have evolved means of putting such to check.
“The security agencies will do everything to protect lives and properties; we have created a conducive atmosphere for the forthcoming governorship election.
“We want to assure Edo people that the pre-election period will be conducive for campaign during and after the election to ensure no breach of law and order,” he said
On his meeting with the 17 members of the House of Assembly, who were inaugurated at a private residence in Benin on Thursday, the police commissioner said that he was apolitical and his office was “open to all”.
“It is my statutory responsibility to provide security for lives and property irrespective of political affiliation,” he said.