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EDO: Escape of 2,000 prisoners worsened insecurity in 2020 – Obaseki

GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki has raised the alarm that the escape of over 2000 prisoners from the correctional centres in the state, with most still at large, during the widespread #EndSARS protest had worsened the insecurity in the state.

He, however, allayed the fear this development could instil in the mind of the residents of the state by assuring them that his administration was building a robust security system to deal with the situation, urging citizens and the private sector to support the state government’s efforts.

Obaseki, who disclosed this in his New Year broadcast, stated that the government was putting in place deep-rooted reforms that would engender sustainable development and reconfigure government institutions to better serve the people.

He said, “The social and economic tension emanating from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the #EndSARS protests and its aftermath, which resulted in jailbreaks in Oko and Sapele Road, Benin City. Almost 2,000 prisoners escaped from these facilities and this has compounded the security situation in the state, which we are now dealing with.

“We are building a robust security system to deal with the peculiar challenges that we now face. We are essentially evolving a public safety system that is anchored on citizen participation with a bottom-up structure, such that citizens are actively engaged in protecting and securing their immediate communities in collaboration with the government.”

He added that the government would be launching the operation ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign, where citizens would be requested to provide information on the identities of all those who lived close to them.

He also called on the citizens not to let down their guards in their battle against Covid-19, adding that they should  adhere strictly to all safety protocols

The governor, however, added that it was not all gloom for the state in 2020. He said, “In the midst of the gloom and despair, there was a silver lining for us in Edo State with the conduct of the September 19 governorship election, which against all predictions, turned out to be peaceful, credible and a watershed for our democracy as a nation.”

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