From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has appealed for the setting up of military bases in areas prone to kidnapping and armed robbery along the Benin-Auchi Road.
He made the appealed when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Farouk Yahaya at the Government House in Benin City.
‘First, l have to commend you and your men for the cooperation that we have continued to enjoy with them. However, we are still having security challenges, especially the spate of kidnapping on Benin – Auchi axis,’ the governor stated.
‘We have military formations in Edo South, as well as in Auchi and Agenebode, both in Edo North Senatorial District; so that 120 kilometres space between them does not have any military presence, hence it is difficult for them to respond either from the Edo South or North when there is an incident.
‘I appeal to the Nigeria Army to consider setting up a forward operating base to close the distance between the Edo North and South, as that will help us cover the axis where we are beginning to experience a lot of incidents.
‘The 4 Brigade has been very helpful in terms of supporting our community crisis. We also appeal that you support us with a special squad to complement our efforts in calming the restiveness that we are seeing around communities, largely because of land disputes.
‘We have laws in place that will help us deal with these issues, but when these communities find out that there are heavily armed men within their communities, peace will return to the affected areas.
‘I want to say that we are very happy with you and will continue to support you by providing some logistics to ensure that you function optimally,’ the governor told the Chief of Army Staff.
Responding, Gen Yahaya disclosed that he was visiting formations and units in the army to interact with officers and men on the ground to motivate them.