By Henry Oqua
The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, while marking this year’s Armed Forces Day, thanked the members of the Armed Forces for their great sacrifice to preserve the unity of Nigeria.
He also thanked Edo citizens who after work had been done to include them in the security system, are now cooperating with security agencies and providing valuable intelligence to security agents.
After inspecting the parade and laying the wreath in the company of the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Joe Acha, Security Chiefs, the Commissioner of Police, the representative of the Oba of Benin, and top government officials, Mr Obaseki told journalists that the fallen soldiers paid the price for Nigeria’s unity, urging Nigerians to emulate them.
“It beckons on us to emulate what these heroes have done by also putting ourselves up for sacrifice. It cannot always be about what we can get from Nigeria.
“Now we should begin to think more about what we can give our country because except the thinking evolves in that direction we will continue to have the level of strife, crises and insecurity which we have today.
“Everybody wants to take from Nigeria but only a few want to give back to Nigeria.” he said.
Explaining Edo’s priorities as the State joins others to remember the fallen heroes, the Governor said residents must emulate the sacrificial spirit of the soldiers.
“For us in Edo, that is the message we’re preaching. It shouldn’t be about you, but about us. What do we need to do as a society, as a State, and as a country to foster peace and harmony.
“For us in Edo we continue to invest in our security. We are so glad and thankful to the citizens particularly, who are now volunteering information. They now feel concerned, they now participate in the security structure we have in the State. The security structure rests on the citizens.
He lauded the cooperation among the security agencies in the State saying they’re all working together in the common fight to secure Edo State.
“I must also thank the security services because it is about collaboration. Nobody is maintaining their own turf, they’re all putting in what they have into the common fight to secure Edo State.
Highlighting the success of the cooperation between the security agencies, Obaseki said the latest rescue of the 12 victims of the Igueben train station kidnapping, was a clear example of how Edo cooperation is making the State more secure.
He said: “We had the unfortunate incident of the train station kidnapping whose victims have been rescued, it was a perfect example of collaboration between all forces, the Police, the Army, the Directorate of State Security, the Civil Defence, the Vigilante Corps, our hunters, everybody worked together in unison to make sure that we were able to rescue the victims.”
Explaining the link between the economic crisis in Nigeria and the security situation in the country, Mr Obaseki said Nigeria cannot shy away from the fact that the economic hardship has made some citizens resort to crime.
“The economic situation in the country is very difficult and is putting pressure on the citizens, some of them are resorting to various crimes and we have to deal with that reality.” he said.