The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the 1,500 Edo State Security, Vigilante/Hunter Network (ESSVN), will strengthen efforts to boost intelligence gathering and community policing across the State.
Obaseki made the remarks at the passing out parade of the second set of ESSVN officials, held at the Ogida Police Training School, in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.
The governor said the exercise is part of the process to firm up the security architecture of the State, adding, “Today marks a major milestone in our renewed efforts to strengthen the security structure in Edo State to protect lives and properties, as we graduate another batch, making it about 2,037 trainees. The first set was 537 and now another 1,500.
“As a government, we are aware of the roles security plays in our socio-economic growth and development. This is why we have sustained efforts to continue to build a capable and well-trained security network across the state and to ensure that they are adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills which are required to effectively deal with the rapid changes in the security landscape.
“We are committed to building the capacity of all our security personnel who are at the forefront of combating crimes in Edo State. We understand the need to collaborate with other agencies, particularly with the Federal Government. That is why we have put in resources to upgrade facilities in the Police Training School”.
Obaseki also thanked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police (CP) and other security agencies for collaborating with his administration in designing the training programmes for members of the vigilante and hunter network.
He noted that the state government recognises the peculiar need for a decentralized and participatory security model which is the current trend in the world. The governor added that a reward system has been implemented to motivate operatives of the ESSVN.
“We believe that it is when citizens are empowered to take ownership of their safety and become an integral part and partners in preventing and addressing the security concerns in their communities, that is when there would be guaranteed security,” he added.
The governor expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Services (DSS), and other partners and members of the Edo State Security Council who have continued to support and strengthen efforts to prevent, deter and respond to criminal activities which have led to the success recorded in the management of security over last few years.
On his part, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Adamu Dankwara, said the Force takes the training seriously as it will help in combating crimes and ensuring a crime-free society.
The CP, represented by DCP, Millar Dantawaye, urged the trainees to work in synergy with DPOs, Heads of operational units of Police in their various communities and other sister security agencies to check crime and immediately hand over suspects to the Police for further actions.
The Commandant, Police Training School, Benin, ACP Joseph Esegine, said about 1,500 personnel of the Edo State Security Vigilante/Hunter Network (ESSVN) Batch B from 12 local government areas of Edo South and Edo Central Senatorial Districts passed out from the school after 10 days of intensive training.