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Forum laments insecurity, kidnappings in Akoko-Edo

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The Akoko-Edo Forum (AEF) has condemned rising insecurity, kidnappings and herdsmen infiltration into the council, just as it condemned the recent shooting of Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Igarra.

Rising from its inaugural virtual meeting, the forum, an umbrella body of Akoko-Edo indigenes in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, resolved to raise funds to assist the injured DPO.

Reputed to be the oldest council in the country, the forum expressed concern that the Akoko-Edo Council remained one of the least developed among the 774 councils in the country.

To this end, the forum said irrespective of whatever is responsible for the pathetic state of Akoko-Edo, it was time the neglect was checked, adding: “Akoko-Edo people, through AEF, have become active stakeholders in the council’s affairs and will no longer allow the neglect and underdevelopment to continue.”

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The forum has constituted a finance and fundraising committee to develop and implement a fundraising strategy for sustainable funding of projects and operations.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting by Mary Opii and Edith Aiyede for the Select Committee, AEF urged the Edo State Government to enact the anti-open grazing law, as the southern governors earlier agreed.

The forum also canvassed the setting up a process for the establishment of Akoko-Edo Trust Fund or Akoko Security Trust Fund to address insecurity and underdevelopment of the area.

“We will work with neighbouring states and councils to address the security challenges. We urge our royal fathers to ensure that herdsmen do not use their domains as settlement and profiling of youths to address crime and criminality in the area,” it said.

It resolved that an empowered AEF Security Committee would develop a sustainable security plan for the area and liaise with vigilance groups to curb activities of kidnappers.

The group also charged the Edo State Government to urgently add Akoko-Edo vigilantes to the state Vigilante Security Network, adding: AEF will key into Edo State recent announcement to employ 10,000 people as vigilantes and equip them.”

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