Obaseki calls for decentralization of nation’s security architecture

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and former Inspector General of Police and Chairman of Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase at launching the State’s Command and Control Centre and Special Force Building in Benin City, named after Arase.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, has called for the decentralization of the country’s security architecture to check crime and criminality.

The governor said this during the Edo State Security Summit, held at the Government House, Benin City, with the theme, “Edo State Security Framework: Repositioning for the Future.”

The governor also officially launched the State’s Command and Control Center, named after former Inspector General of Police and Chairman of Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase and Special Force Building, in Benin City.

The governor said the government is partnering with security agencies, leveraging technology, and evolving a public safety system that is anchored on citizen participation, to tackle insecurity in the State

He said, “Crime is local as well as security and until we have a decentralized legislative framework to allow component parts to take policing to a certain level and ensure active collaboration between the Federal/central security agencies and local agencies, we will not succeed in fighting against criminality.

When we started collating data of crime incidents in the State between 2017 and 2020, there was a rise in crime and criminality in the State. But today, we have seen incidents of crime go down drastically.

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We thank all the security agencies for their collaborative efforts in reducing crime in the State by 47.7 percent between 2020 till date.”

The governor who said he was proud of the reforms introduced by his administration in the last seven years, especially in the areas of security said there is still so much to be done to reduce crime to the barest minimum in the state.

Collaboration with various security agencies has been the key to the reforms we have undertaken in Edo State. We have been collating data in the State using technology and walking into the future.

Our goal is to use this data to check, investigate crime, and understand what is going on in various communities in the state.

Traditional leaders are so key to our security arrangements because, without them, it would have been difficult to get the level of intelligence and local participation and cooperation we have received.

As we go into the future, the emphasis must be on decentralizing security because everybody knows who comes in and out of their communities.

Once we can empower them to have some authority in making decisions to support security efforts, we will achieve a lot more success.

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Looking ahead, we see that the future of security will be driven by technology and we will ensure that those that take charge are responsible and have control. The success today of our command and control center is a collaboration with NCC.”

Further, he said: “I thank the IGP for allowing the State to undertake major refurbishment of the police training school, Ogida in Benin City.

We spent billions of naira improving the school because we realized that as a State, we didn’t have the capacity but relied on existing structures to help improve our security.

We have used the facilities for training men of the Edo State Vigilante Network, ESSVN. We have trained over 5,000 and as I speak another batch of 1,500 operatives are still undergoing training.”

Earlier, the keynote speaker, Major Gen. Ohifeme Enemai (retd), said, “The strategy of security in Edo State must cover citizens, businesses, visitors, infrastructure and information amongst others. The security structure must be in place to drive the strategy for a safer and a secure State for all.

Insecurity is an enterprise and job for criminal elements but we should all collaborate seamlessly, putting them out of that evil job by ensuring the State is safe, peaceful, and secured for all.”

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